Just Do Art, Week of June 5, 2014
THE WEST VILLAGE CHORALE PRESENTS “ELENA BELLI: A GRAND PIANIST” | When the 45 voices of the West Village Chorale come together to sing as one, they make a wonderful sound. But to make beautiful music, they need the singular talent of Elena Belli — who has served as the group’s keyboardist for 25 years. Behind the scenes, the Chorale notes, Belli is an equally invaluable source of “patient support, insistence on precise rhythm, astute interventions, and innate musicality.” Now, it’s payback time — as the Chorale’s spring concert celebrates Belli’s dedication, energy, and elegance with choral pieces that will showcase the musical wizardry of their beloved pianist/assistant conductor. Belli’s ten nimble digits will be kept busy in a program whose repertoire includes Bach’s Cantata No. 4 (“Christ lag in Todesbanden”), Brahms’ “Four Nocturnes,” Dello Joio’s “A Jubilant Song” and an arrangement of Schubert’s “An die Musik” by West Village Chorale conductor and music director Michael Conley.
Sun., June 8, at 5 p.m. At Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.). Tickets: $25 (students, $10 ). For info, call 212-517-1776 or visit westvillagechorale.org.
CHELSEA MUSIC FESTIVAL | Artfully designed to stimulate the senses while stirring the soul, the Chelsea Music Festival’s fifth annual edition will celebrate Germany and Brazil with evening and daytime concerts, free outdoor performances, family events, talks and panels, tastings and gallery viewings. Among the over 100 artists gathering from around the corner and throughout the globe: The Amaryllis Quartett (Germany), Rogerio Boccato (Brazil), chefs Lance Nitahara and Sonar Saikia, jazz pianists Adam Birnbaum and Helen Sung, scent sculpturist Christophe Laudamiel, experimental Brazilian band Choro Dragão, and WQXR Q2 Music’s Conor Hanick. The June 6 Opening Night Gala (“Air on a New York Skyline”) happens at W. 26th St.’s Canoe Studios. The festival wraps up on June 14, with a jazz program: “Alma Brasileira: Beyond the Clouds of Corcovado” (at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church, on W. 22nd St.).
June 6–14, at venues including Dillon Gallery, the General Theological Seminary Chapel, Herald Square Park, Manhattan School of Music, The New School Auditorium and Clement Clarke Moore Park. Tickets range from $8-$68. At the door, with ID: $10 per ticket discount for students and seniors. For reservations and a full schedule, including info on free “CMF@Noon” outdoor concerts, visit chelseamusicfestival.org. Twitter: @cmf_nyc. Also see facebook.com/chelseamusicfestival.
HUDSON GUILD THEATRE COMPANY’S CONTEMPORARY DANCE ADAPTATION OF “ROMEO AND JULIET” | Hudson Guild Theatre Company adds to its recent string of imaginatively staged adaptations (including a hip hop version of “The Misanthrope”), with this contemporary dance version of “Romeo and Juliet.” Set to excerpts from Sergei Prokofiev’s score for the ballet, the 30-member cast features children and seniors from Guild programs performing alongside young professional dancers from the Matthew Westerby Company. This is the latest collaboration between UK-born choreographer Westerby and Hudson Guild’s Director of Arts, Jim Furlong — the team responsible for HGTC’s acclaimed 2012 production of “The Sleeping Beauty.” Rounding out the reunion: “Beauty” alum Megan Peti serves as lighting designer, while Amy Pedigo-Otto takes her sixth turn as the theatre company’s costume designer. The title roles are danced by Westerby Company members Gierre Godley and Jun Lee.
Fri., June 6 & 13 at 8 p.m. Sat., June 7 & 14 at 2 p.m. Sun., June 8 & 15 at 3 p.m. At Hudson Guild Theatre (441 W. 26th St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). Admission is “Pay What You Wish.” For reservations & info, call 212-760-9817. Visit hudsonguild.org and matthewwesterbycompany.org.
RED GARNET THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS “BROKEN HOMES” | Formed by Brooklyn-based artists and alumni of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA acting program, the relatively young (in all senses of the word) Red Garnet Theater Company has dedicated itself to developing “bold and original plays that provide an outlet for the female voice.” Their current production features two solo works created to raise awareness and generate discussion about the impact that abuse and neglect have on today’s youth. “Broken Homes” finds two women reliving the memories of lives spent in isolation. Writer and performer Lauren Lubow sets “Welcome to America” in a confinement unit, the night before the execution of Christina Riggs — the first woman to ask for the death penalty. In “Two Grey Hairs,” writer and performer Mia Ellis portrays Emmy, a young woman whose history of hurt and rejection causes her to reflect on her present state of indecision.
All proceeds will be donated to Brooklyn’s Center for Anti-Violence Education (caeny.org), which works to break the cycle of violence by providing education, physical empowerment, and leadership development to underserved communities.
June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21 & 23 at 7 p.m. and on June 22 at 2pm. At UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, btw. 1st Ave. & Ave. A). For tickets ($18), purchase at the door or at artful.ly/store/events/3083. To learn more about Red Garnet Theater Company: redgarnettheatercompany.org.
—BY SCOTT STIFFLER