Jumping Into the Year that is Before Us

Sam Black

From my own perspective, our musical and theatrical world of Duluth is ready to explode for the opening months of 2016. I hope you are planning to indulge in the arts as much as I want you to. As many of you are aware, “James and the Giant Peach” is on stage at The Duluth Playhouse. If creative fantasy is your world, you will want to be there between now and January 24. Tickets are going fast, but still available.

The Delights of Intimacy

On Thursday, January 28, Jason R. Brown’s musical, “The Last Five Years,” will be on stage at The Underground stage on the lower level of the Depot Arts Center. Adam Sippola and Carolyn LePine will share (again) the two roles of a couple who look at the separation episode from opposite sides of the experience. Jamie looks at the five years of marital experience, Cathy looks at the present and reviews what has happened over the past five years. They share these thoughts on stage simultaneously. Jason Robert Brown wrote both the script and the music, and it’s very wonderful. I’ve seen this show at the Playground some years ago, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again, shared by the two singers/actors. This is one of the best intimate musicals of the past 13 years, so I hope you plan to attend. I will write about my experience in the next couple of weeks.

Cabaret in the Zenith City

For a few months now, Adam Sippola has been hosting the Zenith City Cabaret, a musical opportunity in the Atrium at the Zeitgeist Arts Center on Superior Street. This past Saturday, Adam was joined by Carolyn LePine, Patrick Colvin, Louisa Skorich, Kayla Mudgett, Nathan Payne, Kate Kulas, and Jacqline Wright. They sang songs from Camelot, West Side Story, The Last Five Years, and several other musicals. They sang fourteen songs from a variety of composers old and new. Those in the audience sipped their wine, enjoyed the songs, and shared in the enthusiasm of new voices sharing their skills in downtown Duluth. The next Zenith City Cabaret will occur on Saturday, February 13, beginning at 8 pm. Love and its implications will be the theme for the evening. Come join us for a glass of wine at Zeitgeist and an evening of creative songs. I hope you have seen the sidebar called “A Call to Artists!” in the last several issues of The Reader.  Artists all over our reading area are invited to submit original art work for The Reader to use on front pages, and to use as fundraising opportunities for selected nonprofit organizations in our region. Look over the promotion and share it with your artistic friends.

Metropolitan Opera is the best opera you can experience, always

I still feel a need to write about the Metropolitan Opera. I realize they don’t need me, but I also know that you need to know how wonderful live opera performances at the Met can be. After one hundred years of absence, George Bizet’s opera “Les Pecheurs de Perles” (The Pearl Fishers) was the matinee this past Saturday afternoon. The singing and acting was glorious, the set designs were spectacular, and the full chorus was singing away in this brilliant performance of an opera that will be seen more often in the coming years. I have to remind myself that I am watching a LIVE performance. Time is real, in New York City, Duluth, Paris, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, etc. Anyone with access can be present at this live performance taking place on the Metropolitan Opera stage in New York City. Truly worldclass singers like Diana Damrau, Matthew Polanzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien make this music come vividly alive for all of us around the world who are watching via the HD closed circuit television capabilities. This is fabulous, from my perspective. The next MetOpera will be Giacomo Puccini’s final work, Turandot, aired around noon on Saturday, January 30. If you want to watch live opera happen as it actually does happen, front stage and back stage, come to the Duluth 10 Theaters on that Saturday and watch the glory of Italian opera from the early years of the twentieth century. Duluth is a treat for us all. Go out in the cold and support all of the artists you know in our exceptional community.