Bach to the theatre
A wonderful stroke of luck for the Little Washington Theatre patrons this coming Sunday, April 2nd. The theatre audience will be treated to an afternoon of Bach played on a rare instrument dating from the composer’s time.
Ken Slowik, artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, recently purchased a violoncello piccolo from about 1720. It is thus exactly contemporary with Bach’s great set of six suites for violoncello solo, the last of which, though routinely played on a “normal” cello these days, was actually intended for a 5-string instrument.
The first half of Sunday’s 3 p.m. program will consist of a performance of J.S. Bach’s Suite in D Major, BWV 1012, on this amazing instrument. The second half of the program will consist of two solo harpsichord works: the Partita in B-flat Major, BWV 825, and conclude with the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, BWV 903.
Italy in Sperryville
Photographer Susan Raines moves to center stage this weekend at the Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville with her classically composed images from Rome and Florence. The show “Photographs of Italy” will be joined by works from other gallery members and will run March 31 through May 7.
There will be an opening reception for the public at the gallery this Saturday April 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
According to the gallery’s Gary Anthes, Raines presents “colorful and dramatic views of the two old cities, ranging from decrepit but oddly enticing modern street scenes to stark marble statues and structures from centuries ago. Mostly free of the crowds one associates with Rome and Florence, the images focus on the beauty of the ancient cities.
“Even Raines’ modern street scenes seem grounded in a long-ago era. She recalls that on a recent visit she thought, ‘Italy has been through countless political upheavals but has existed for many centuries. It gave me hope that our comparatively very young country will survive the trauma we have been experiencing over the past year.’”
Raines spent many years as a freelance photographer in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and London. She also taught photography at the University of Maryland and worked at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Art Services International, two commercial art galleries and at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Middle Street Gallery is now located above the Before & After Cafe at 31 Main Street in Sperryville. It is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, please visit middlestreetgallery.org.
Well done, girls
Rappahannock Real Estate Resources, LLC has furnished congratulatory T-shirts to the outstanding players of this year’s Virginia State Champion Rappahannock County High School Girls Varsity Volleyball Team. The Panthers won the 1A state title this past November in Richmond, in doing so putting the cherry on top of an amazing 27-0 season.
“Congratulations to each and every one of you and your coach for your determination and
Sportsmanship,” says the team of realtors that include (left to right) Julie Garrett, Emily Moore, Butch Zindel and Trish Bartholomew. “We are so proud of our team we are wearing the T-shirts ourselves!”
Flint Hill to Folger
The play “Galileo’s Torch” by James Reston, Jr., which had its first performance at John Henry’s amphitheater at Stone Hill Farm in June 2014, gets another step up this evening (March 30) with a concert performance at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington.
Period music by the famous Folger Consort will accompany selections from the play. This production features Ed Gero as Galileo, seen recently in the play “Scalia” and John Lescault as Galileo’s friend, Sagredo. Lescault starred in Reston’s play, “Sherman the Peacemaker,” in June 2015, as General William Tecumseh Sherman, that was also performed at Stone Hill.
Since its first production in Rappahannock County, “Galileo’s Torch” went on to performances at the Italian Embassy in Washington, a professional reading at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, and six weeks ago, had its first university production at the University of Oklahoma.
A website devoted to the late Roger Ebert, who prior to his death in 2013 was among the most acclaimed film critics in the land, is singing the praises of Rappahannock County musician Paul Reisler, who as noted in this space last week is featured in singer Julie Andrews’ new Netflix series.
Writes Matt Fagerholm on rogerebert.com: “The ripple effect of all these programs is perhaps best epitomized by the Kid Pan Alley songwriting project, founded by Paul Reisler to guide children in creating their own music. Watching the exuberance of the kids onscreen, I . . . thought of the NewArts program in Newtown, Connecticut, that has been established to provide a positive outlet for the grieving community’s youth. In my review of ‘Midsummer in Newtown,; Lloyd Kramer’s documentary about NewArts, I wrote that the applause received by the children after their performance served as ‘an affirmation that their work matters and that their lives matter too.’”
Library to RAAC
The New York Times called Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia the “richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio . . . and emotion.”
The RAAC Community Theatre is mounting its own production of the play under the direction of Mike Mahoney, on May 5, 6, and 7 at the RAAC Community Theatre.
But first, Mahoney will be the featured speaker at RAAC’s April 14 “2nd Friday at the Library” at 8 p.m. He and several cast members from the RAAC production will introduce the play, discuss the themes and characters, and even perform a short scene.
“Stoppard is regarded as one of the most notable playwrights of the modern era with a long list of successful shows,” says Mahoney. “But Arcadia is considered by some critics as his best work and also one of, if not the best plays of the latter half of the 20th Century.”
It premiered in London in 1993 and won the Olivier Award for best new play. Its New York City premier gained it the Drama Critic’s Circle award for best play.
Arcadia moves back and forth between 1809 and the present at the elegant estate owned by the Coverly family. The play explores the relationship between past and present, order and disorder, certainty and uncertainty, intellect and romance, truth and time, tempered by the disruptive influence of sex.
“The Library event on April 14 is intended to both entertain and educate,” says Mahoney. “You needn’t attend the talk to appreciate the play and you needn’t attend the play to appreciate the talk. But you will enjoy both more if you attend both.”
Arcadia takes stage on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, May 7 at 2:30 p.m. RAAC Community Theatre, 310 Gay St., Washington. Tickets are $15. For reservations, go to http://raac.org/raacwp/make-reservations/. If no Internet access, call 1-800-695-6075.