Arts news and views

ArtSnob is your site for fast postings of Daily News reviews, local art happenings and reader feedback.

Drop your comments here, e-mail us at arts@adn.com, or call Arts and Entertainment editor Mike Dunham at (907)-257-4332 or toll-free in Alaska, 800-478-4200, ext. 332.

2 for 1 deal for new musical premiere - 1/7/2013 5:11 pm

'Troyens' repeats Sunday - 1/6/2013 10:19 am

FIRST FRIDAY RAMBLES: Treasures at Two Friends - 1/5/2013 10:53 am

REVIEW: 'FREUD'S LAST SESSION' - 1/4/2013 10:49 am

New CIRQUE is out - 1/3/2013 2:08 pm

Bald soprano to be seen in Anchorage - 1/2/2013 9:50 am

Photographer Mishler looking for Kickstarter boost - 1/1/2013 3:09 pm

REVIEW: 'LAST DAY ON EARTH' - 12/22/2012 2:01 pm

Legislature honors Winifred Beans

(This citation was passed by the Alaska State House and Senate and issued on April 9, 2011. Winifred Beans died on April 21 at the age of 94.)

HONORING ANGIVRAN WINIFRED BEANS

The members of the Twenty-seventh Alaska Legislature join Tundra Women’s Coalition and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health
Corporation of Bethel in honoring the life achievements of Angivran Winifred Beans.

Angivran Winifred Beans was born on August 10, 1917, in Kasigluk where she grew up with parents Joseph and Anna Joe. She

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REVIEW: ALASKA CHAMBER SINGERS

By MIKE DUNHAM

The program celebrating the Alaska Chamber Singers’ 25th season may not be the group’s most exciting concert; my pick would be one or more of their all-Bach events. But it was, as guest conductor Anton Armstrong pointed out, impeccable – in terms of pitch, phrasing, diction, balance and texture.

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REVIEW: THODOS DANCE

By ANNE HERMAN

You have to give Thodos Dance Chicago props for staying together – and even expanding – for 20 years. Many other small companies would have fallen by the wayside from too much competition, too little money, and not enough creative energy to keep them fresh.

The Chicago-based company has been traveling Alaska for the past month, hitting towns from Ketchikan to Kodiak. Their 90-minute show Thursday night at the Discovery Theatre was a delicious surprise for Anchorage dance goers.

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REVIEW: ANCHORAGE SYMPHONY

By MIKE DUNHAM

The appearance of Paul Rosenthal with the Anchorage Symphony on Saturday night probably contributed to the nearly full house at Atwood Concert Hall. The violinist, a major figure in the Alaska music scene since the 1960s, set the minds of decades-long fans ruminating on the inevitable passage of time when he recently stepped down as the director of the Sitka Music Festival.

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REVIEW: UAA's 'NEW DANCES'

By ANNE HERMAN

The UAA Dance Ensemble mixed things up in its “New Dances 2012” concert. The college-aged performers have been known over the years for their contemporary – even post-modern – take on this art. Symbolism – verbal and kinetic – runs through much of their past works.

Friday night’s performance at UAA’s Mainstage Theater seemed a symbolism-free zone. That is fine. But if you are not going for the big metaphor, you had better make the movements look good. This worked only partially in the concert.

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REVIEW: 'BRING BACK THE SUNSHINE'

By MIKE DUNHAM

“Bring Back the Sunshine” is Fran Lautenberger’s swan song – though swans are about the only animal not included in the show. Lautenberger is closing out her 26 year career at the University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Theatre and Dance with a delightful fantasy written by herself with Jon Minton and brimming with the wild costumes and puppet forms that have fascinated her through the years.

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REVIEW: ADT's 'SOLOS AND ARIAS'

By MIKE DUNHAM

Alaska Dance Theatre’s initiative to bring in gifted young dancers from major markets for extended residencies – basically laying the groundwork for a full-time professional dance company in Anchorage – paid off in a big way with an impressive “Othello” last month.

The follow-up now onstage at the Discovery Theatre may not be quite as compelling, but it is still an ambitious showcase deserving the attention of those curious about where artistic creativity in our city is heading.

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YOU BE THE CRITIC: WIZARD OF OZ

By Ahriel Porter

Follow the yellow brick road down to the Valley Performing Arts as they reveal a dreamlike world with talking scarecrows, woodmen made of tin, and lions that cower. That’s right, the old familiar world of Oz has returned!

A large cast of talented actors and actresses have come together to create the fantasy world most of us remember from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. And what a success it was! With so many actors, props, and effects, the team sure had a lot of work cut out for them, but they produced a wonderful play with great backgrounds and a superb cast.

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REVIEW: SOUND OF MUSIC

By MIKE DUNHAM

Anchorage Opera wraps up its 50th anniversary season this weekend with an elegant production of “The Sound of Music.”

The show zips through the plot and familiar tunes; the running time is less than three hours. That’s due to some well-considered cuts – dialogue is trimmed to a minimum, especially in the first act – but even more to the brilliant production team.

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REVIEW: 'RENT'

By LINDA BILLINGTON

“Rent” is a lively urban potpourri of issues and emotions, humor and grief, friendship and love and disappointment, all wrapped up in music and dance. It’s a big, complicated show, with a large cast that has to negotiate the complexities of life with energy and sensitivity.

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'SOUND OF MUSIC' A MUST-SEE

YOU BE THE CRITIC:

Congratulations to Anchorage Opera on a fantastic production of “The Sound of Music.”

While musical theater is beyond the typical operatic repertoire, it was wonderful to hear the caliber of voices that a professional opera company can lure to the stage. The visiting soloists, Maestro Kelly Kuo, Maestro Robert Ashens, Director Bill Fabris and Stage Manager Whitney Schmerber brought a level of professionalism that opera and musical theatre fans alike can truly appreciate.

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"Quiet World" Questions

By MIKE DUNHAM

Questions and quibbles on the first edition of “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960,” by Douglas Brinkley.

(The opening and closing items on this list are found in the second edition. Page numbers from the first edition, where available, are given first. Any alteration in the second edition, or lack of alteration, is noted at the end.)

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Multi-block Ice Art winners

Multi-block competition was wrapped up and judged over the weekend at the 2012 BP World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks. The winners are:

1. “Prickly Reception,” by Junichi Nakamura, Shinichi Sawamura,
Satoru Mahoe and Takahiro Sueyoshi; Japan

2. “Rebirth of Elements,” by Vitaly Lednev, Mario Amegee, Egor Stepanov and Aleksandr Parfenov; Russia & Monaco

3. “Tiger Marriage Desire,” Tian Zuo Wei, Yan Long Feng, Linda Heck and Ling Zhi Zhang; China

4. “The Land Calls,” Oleg Klavdeev and Eduard Ponomarenko; Russia

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REVIEW: ADT's 'OTHELLO'

By ANNE HERMAN

“Othello, The Moor of Venice” is Shakespeare at his playwright best. The tragedy is a disastrous portrayal of blind passion, treacherous deceit, love given and betrayed. And death, always death. The play speaks deeply of the human condition at its most manipulative, vulnerable and self-destructive.

Alaska Dance Theatre’s translation of “Othello” was as powerful as the Bard’s words, many of which accompanied the actions and emotions on stage Friday evening at the Discovery Theater.

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Last Frontier Theatre Conference Announces Accepted Plays

Prince William Sound Community College has released the names of playwrights invited to participate in the Play Lab to be held at the 20th Annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference, June 10-16, in Valdez, Alaska. The plays were selected from 389 total submissions, a record for the event.

The invited 60 plays include writers from across the United States and internationally from the Ireland, England, and Taiwan. There are 10 Alaskans invited to present their work, including 6 from Anchorage, 2 from Fairbanks, and one apiece from Homer, Auk Bay, Valdez, Adak, Bethel, and North Pole.

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REVIEW: VERDI'S 'MACBETH'

By MIKE DUNHAM

With a shoestring budget, Anchorage Opera has managed to present a gripping “Macbeth” that doesn’t readily reveal its shortcuts. Verdi’s grand opera take on Shakespeare’s story received a compelling production to a sold out opening night house on Saturday, and there’s no shortage of parties deserving praise for pulling off a stirring success.

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REVIEW: THE BLUE BEAR

Perseverance Theatre faced several challenges in adapting “The Blue Bear” as a play. One was trying to convey the enormity of the Alaskan landscape and megafauna on a stage. How do you show a 30-foot boat caught in a bubble net with humpback whales rushing up from below? A calving glacier?

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Happy Marmot Day

Marmot: Photo: Bruce Chambers, Orange County Register.Marmot: Photo: Bruce Chambers, Orange County Register.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA...

Marmot Day is established on February 2 of each year. The day may be observed by suitable observances and exercises by school programs, the Alaska Zoo, civic groups, and the public.
AS 44.12.110

Let all loyal Alaskans today hail the Marmot,

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Review: The Planets

By MIKE DUNHAM

A full house was on hand at Atwood Concert Hall for the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” The attraction seems to have been the visual accompaniment to the suite prepared by Jose Francisco Salgado of the Adler Planetarium using fascinating images of the solar system.

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Free Museum admission deal from Bank of America

Starting Feb. 4, admission to the Anchorage Museum will be free on the first Saturday of each month for individuals with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch bank cards. Those include Alaska Airlines Visa cards, which are issued by Bank of America, according to the museum.

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