Friday, January 28, 2011

Amun Ra Theatre's New Season

Some interesting news from Amun Ra Theatre today as they announced their new season: this year is the last one in which they'll produce plays using adult performers. Here's the presser:


NASHVILLE - (January 28, 2011) - Amun Ra Theatre (ART) is proud to
announce the 2011 Season, themed "This Far By Faith," which includes the
Nashville professional premiere of Mahalia, A Musical, by Tom Stolz,
directed by Kenetha carr; the Nashville premiere of The Old Settler, by
the legendary John Henry Redwood, directed by Artistic Director Dr. jeff
obafemi carr; and the Nashville Premiere of Jar The Floor, by modern giant
Cheryl West; this year for the holidays, Music City audiences will be
treated to an all-star performance of Fats Waller's Broadway Musical smash
Ain't Misbehavin'.

In celebration of 10 years of providing opportunities for minority actors,
playwrights, directors, and theater technicians, ART announces that
commencing in 2012, Amun Ra Theatre will evolve into a full time,
year-round arts training and performance institution for youth and teens,
building on the success of its Youth Performing ARTs Academy. Young people from ages 7-18 will take the reins of writing, acting, and performing
seasonal plays, building sets, designing lights, and learning the
foundations of dance, music, and visual arts, all under the guidance of
professional artists.

Founder and Artistic Director Dr. jeff obafemi carr states, "It's awesome.
This is a huge move, but it's a timely and needed one. When I first moved
back here from New York to start ART, it was because there was a drought
in cultural offerings in Nashville for black actors and I wanted be a part
of offering a solution. I'm proud to say that over the last decade, we've
trained and given opportunities to over 100 adult aspiring artists,
several of whom have moved on to work at many of the union houses in
Nashville and abroad. Now it's time to turn a page and pass this on to the
children so that they can be equipped to grab their dreams by the horns.
They will have a building, a reputation, and a group of what we're calling
ART Alums to mentor them to higher heights."

One of the benchmark events for 2011 will be ART To Africa. The Youth
Performing ARTs Academy children and ART staff will travel to the Village
of Champions Orphanage, located outside of Accra, Ghana in July. There
they will participate in a cultural exchange with the youth while building
a physical addition onto the facility, resulting in a permanent
performance space that will be christened with a joint performance by ART
and the Village of Champions young people. The performance will feature
music, drama, dance, and visual art.

"We're acting really 'grown' for a 10-year old," carr added. "But if we
are going to hand over a theatre like Amun Ra--with its established
national reputation--to young people, they need to know that the stakes
are high and so are our expectations. In the meantime, the adults are
promising Nashville a 2011 that will be long-remembered in their minds and
hearts." All proceeds from all shows this season will benefit the youth
programs of ART.


Written by: Tom Stolz
Dates: February 25th - March 13th

Mahalia, A Gospel Musical is a tribute to the late, great gospel warrior
who captivated the nation and audiences around the world with her
distinctive soulful voice and effervescent delivery. Her legacy is so
profound that her first name alone conjures up enough stirring memories to
bring a church crowd to its feet, and might even save a wayward soul or
two. This production will feature ART favorite Vera Warrick (The Colored
Museum, Black Nativity) in the title role.

The Old Settler
Written by: John Henry Redwood
Dates: May 13th - May 29th

"Redwood's gentle, sweet-natured comedy about life in Harlem in 1943. It's
a play that chooses to remember the good without the bad, being about the
relationship of two aging, church-going sisters.and what happens when a
handsome young fellow, newly arrived from the Deep South, rents a room in
the apartment they share.For all of its decent sentiments, THE OLD SETTLER
avoids sentimentality. It has the authenticity and lack of pretense of an
Early American sampler." -NY Times.

Jar The Floor
Written by: Cheryl West
Dates: September 16th - October 2nd

A quartet of black women spanning four generations makes up this
heartwarming dramatic comedy. The four women, plus the white woman friend
of the youngest, come together to celebrate the matriarch's ninetieth
birthday. It's a wild party, one that is a lovable lunatic glance at the
exhilarating challenge of growing old amidst the exasperating trials of
growing up.

Ain't Misbehavin'
Written by: Fats Waller
Dates: December 2nd - December 18th

The outrageously prodigious comic and musical soul of 1930s Harlem lives
on in this rollicking, swinging, finger-snapping revue that is still
considered one of Broadway's best. Ain't Misbehavin'' evokes the
delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as a
versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs he made famous in a
career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to
Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

All productions will be held at the Amun Ra Theatre Playhouse, located at
2508 Clifton Avenue, unless otherwise noted.

Tickets may be purchased online at or reserved by
calling 1-800-838-3006. For local information, and to inquire about group
sales discounts, call (615) 329-iACT (4228).

Amun Ra Theatre is a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3), professional performing
arts ensemble. Founded by film and stage actor jeff obafemi carr ("The
Second Chance"), the company's mission is to expose audiences to the
wealth of African-American culture through dance, music, drama and spoken word. To learn more about Amun Ra Theatre, visit

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011/2012 Nashville Symphony Season

Here's today's release from Nashville Symphony about next season:

Nashville Symphony Announces 2011/2012 Season
Yo-Yo Ma, Béla Fleck, Wynonna and a trip to Carnegie Hall among the highlights

NASHVILLE, TN (January 27, 2011) The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony continues to celebrate its triumphant return to Schermerhorn Symphony Center with the announcement of its 2011/12 season. Beginning with a special appearance by Yo-Yo Ma on September 9, 2011, and culminating with a performance of Orff’s enduringly popular Carmina Burana on May 31-June 2, 2012, the season will feature a wide array of world-class guest artists, including banjoist Béla Fleck, electric violinist Tracy Silverman, vocalists Wynonna and Kathy Mattea, trumpeter Chris Botti, guitarist Larry Carlton and The Cleveland Orchestra. One very special highlight for the orchestra will be a performance at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Details will be announced in mid-February.

“The 2011/12 season is a celebration of the Nashville Symphony’s incredible strength, resilience and expanding national profile,” says President & CEO Alan Valentine. “We feel so fortunate to have Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero’s artistic leadership, and this season is very much a reflection of the new heights of artistic achievement the orchestra has realized under his guidance – highlighted by our appearance at Carnegie Hall next May. We also are incredibly thankful for the support of this community, and I can’t think of a better way to express our appreciation than by offering a year’s worth of first-class musical excitement.”

SunTrust Classical Series and Classical Special Events
The 2011/12 SunTrust Classical Series features some of today’s leading classical soloists, including pianists Emanuel Ax (October 6-8, 2011), Garrick Ohlsson (January 26-28, 2012) and Jonathan Biss (February 9-11, 2012); violinists Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin (March 8-10, 2012) and Augustin Hadelich (April 19-21, 2012); and soprano Hila Plitmann (November 17-19, 2011). Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero will conduct 10 of the 14 classical concerts, Associate Conductor Kelly Corcoran will conduct one concert (February 23-25, 2012), and renowned guest conductors Peter Oundjian (December 1-3, 2011), Stanisław Skrowaczewski (January 26-28, 2012) and Gilbert Varga (March 29-31, 2012) will each step up to the podium.

The Symphony’s repertoire will include classic works by Brahms, Chopin, Copland, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and others, along with more recent works by such composers as John Adams, Roberto Sierra and Daniel Bernard Roumain (who is a Vanderbilt University graduate). “New American music is a big part of who we are,” Guerrero says. “Classical music is a living, breathing entity, and it’s our responsibility to keep it growing for future generations. At the same time, this music is even more meaningful when audiences are able to hear it in the context of those pieces we all know and love.”

In addition to Yo-Yo Ma’s season-opening appearance, which will feature the cellist performing two works by Dvořák, Schermerhorn Symphony Center has several other classical special events planned for next season. One major highlight is the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (April 24, 2012), a widely recorded ensemble famous for performing without a conductor. Other special concerts will include Handel’s Messiah (December 15-17, 2011) and the return of The Cleveland Orchestra (March 19, 2012), who will be conducted by Guerrero.

Classical conversations are offered in the Balcony Lobby prior to each SunTrust Classical Series concert. These informal 30-minute talks with our conductors and guest artists begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To learn more about Classical Conversations and the 2011/12 season, please visit

Bank of America Pops Series
Nashville Symphony continues to bring some of the best-loved names in popular music to Nashville. The Pops Series will showcase the talents of country artists Wynonna (September 15-17, 2011), Kathy Mattea (March 22-24, 2012) and Steve Wariner (April 5-7, 2012); conductor Marvin Hamlisch (February 2-4, 2012); trumpeter Chris Botti (May 17-19, 2012); and Broadway “Wicked Divas” Stephanie J. Block and Julia Murney (November 10-12, 2011), who will perform music from the hit stage show Wicked. Christopher Cross (October 20-22, 2011), whose appearance last year was cancelled due to flood damage, returns as well.

Adams and Reese Jazz Series
A Middle Tennessee resident for the past 15 years, renowned guitarist Larry Carlton headlines the first concert of this popular series (September 30, 2011), which brings the best of jazz to local audiences. Carlton is famous for his unmistakable sound, heard on recordings by John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Jerry Garcia, Dolly Parton, Quincy Jones and others, along with a string of successful solo releases. Two additional concerts slated for January and March will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Series
Four kid-friendly concerts make up the Nashville Symphony’s series for families, beginning with The Composer Is Dead (October 29, 2011), based on the popular children’s book by Lemony Snicket. This hilarious whodunit will be narrated by Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, with one performance presented in English and a second presented in Spanish. Additional concerts in the series include The Holiday Music Instrument Workshop (December 17, 2011), a musical trip into Santa’s workshop; Music, Noise & Silence (February 18, 2012), a theatrical romp featuring the Magic Circle Mime Company; and Pied Piper Fantasy (April 14, 2012), composer John Corigliano’s flute concerto bringing the legendary tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin to life. Pre-concert activities include an Instrument Petting Zoo and interactive art projects. For more kid-friendly information, visit

Nashville Symphony World Premieres, Commissions and Recordings
New music is an integral part of every Nashville Symphony season, and the 2011/12 season promises several electrifying world premieres and commissions, beginning with a concerto written by and for banjoist Béla Fleck (September 22-24, 2011). The orchestra will also debut Darkness in the Ancient Valley, a new work by Richard Danielpour (November 17-19, 2011), and a concerto written especially for electric violinist Silverman by modern music pioneer Terry Riley (May 3-5, 2012).

Long recognized as one of the most active recording orchestras in the country, the Nashville Symphony will continue to expand its sizable discography in the 2011/12 season. Danielpour’s Darkness in the Ancient Valley, featuring soprano Plitmann, and two works by composer Roberto Sierra (April 19-21, 2012) will be recorded for future release on Naxos, the world’s leading classical label.

Subscription and Ticketing Information
Season subscriptions are available now. Prices for the 2011/12 SunTrust Classical Series start at $486 (all 14 concerts); the Bank of America Pops Series (8 concerts), $314; the Adams and Reese Jazz Series (3 concerts), $130; and The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Series (4 concerts), $116 for adults and $71 for children. Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale in mid-July. For more information or to purchase subscriptions, please call 615.687.6400 or visit

Groups of 10 or more receive discounted rates, priority seating and personalized service. Contact Group Sales Specialist Meredith Benning at or 615.687.6537 for more information and to book a group today.

Dining Options
Located in Schermerhorn Symphony Center’s East Lobby, Arpeggio offers a sumptuous four-course buffet before all evening series concerts and most special performances. Reservations are preferred. For updated information, visit or call 615.687.6400.

Located in the West Lobby, the Symphony Café offers a bistro-style à la carte menu beginning two hours prior to the performance. The Café is also open from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Parking and Shuttle Information
The Pinnacle at Symphony Place, located across the street from Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Third Avenue, offers discounted pricing with 987 well-lit and secure parking spaces. Symphony patrons may pre-purchase $10 parking vouchers from our box office for use on dates when the Symphony is performing.

Valet parking is available for all Symphony performances on Symphony Place, on the north
side of the building. Cost is $20. We also offer pre-paid valet parking for all performances. For more details, call our Patron Services department at 615.687.6401.

For $10 cash per person, round-trip shuttle service is available for SunTrust Classical Series and Bank of America Pops Series concerts. First come, first served. Shuttles leave from Belle Meade Plaza, Brentwood’s Peartree Village Shopping Center and The Factory at Franklin. For more information, call 615.687.6542. Service provided by Anchor Trailways and Tours.

Nashville Symphony concerts are made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: SunTrust Bank for the Classical Series, Bank of America for the Pops Series, Adams and Reese for the Jazz Series, and The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust for the Pied Piper Series. Nashville Symphony programs are also supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.


The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has a growing international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With more than 140 performances annually, the 83-member orchestra is an arts leader in Nashville and beyond, offering a broad range of classical, pops and jazz concerts, special events, children’s concerts and community engagement programs. As a national and international ambassador for the citizens of Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 18 recordings on Naxos, making the ensemble one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have received 13 total GRAMMY® nominations and, in 2008, three GRAMMY® Awards for Made in America, a recording of works by American composer Joan Tower.