Lawrance Bernabo, for the News Tribune
Saturday night at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center's Symphony Hall, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra joined forces with the local Big Time Jazz Orchestra for "Big Time Swing," a combination of classical and popular music. With a first half devoted to Viennese waltzes and polkas, and a second half filled with big-band music, this was a night where the long haired music was not the pop, but the classical offerings.
"Ruddigore, or The Witch's Curse," the Gilbert and Sullivan show that opened at the Underground on Thursday night, is about honor. OK, they are all about honor, but "Ruddigore" is also about etiquette and — of all things — syllogistic form. "Ruddigore" combines that witch's curse with a triple-reverse love triangle, with an abbreviated half-twist, that helps put the comic in comic operetta.
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra's "Hidden Treasures" concert Saturday night at the DECC's Symphony Hall offered a trio of works rarely performed by some of the great names in music. We began with the second recording in the DSSO's Beethoven Project, Symphony No. 4, which will be rebroadcast on Minnesota Public Radio and eventually released on CD. DSSO board member Andrew Ricci provided strict instructions regarding cellphones and throat lozenges to help ensure a pristine recording.
Tolstoy once wrote: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." However, he never said anything about what crazy families are like, an omission that playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart explore in the charming "You Can't Take It With You," which opened Thursday night at the Duluth Playhouse.
Ellie Schoenfeld, Duluth's current poet laureate, and two of her predecessors added another dimension of sound Saturday afternoon at the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music concert at the Depot. While the poets largely took their cue from the "Winter Notes" program title, the musical selections all had ties to the spoken word. The 2017 Duluth Art Institute Membership Show is currently on display in the Depot's Great Hall, so the audience was arranged around the display areas, with more spectators in the gallery balcony above.
When Green Day played "American Idiot" at the MTV Europe Music Awards last November, Billie Joe Armstrong changed the last line of the opening verse to "subliminal mind-Trump America." If you get the point of that change and endorse the sentiment, then you are going to love the stage musical version of "American Idiot" that opened Thursday night at the Underground. If you are insulted by that line, then you should probably avoid this punk rock diatribe.
As music director at the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Dirk Meyer has shown an abiding commitment to collaboration. Saturday night's "Russian Tales" concert at the DECC Symphony Hall offered three different types of collaboration. The opening piece, Tchaikovsky's "Marche Slave" saw the Duluth Superior Youth Symphony swell the numbers assembled on stage. As promised, the DSSO and DSYS musicians sat side-by-side, although on bass, Rowan Racette was side-by-side to the factor of seven. It was a treat watching the two groups interact during their warmup.
Posters and press for "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" neglected to say if the Theater for Young Audiences production that opened Friday night was in the Underground or on the Playhouse main stage. The answer is ... both.
For its New Year’s Eve concert, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra called upon the services of Craig A. Meyer, aka “Almost” Elton John, and the Rocket Band for “Remember When Rock Was Young,” which made for a rocking good time at the DECC’s Symphony Hall on Saturday night. The Allete stage was dressed to party, draped in black, with a mirror ball front and center high above. Guest conductor Jason Altieri, resplendent in an orange jacket, clearly enjoyed the gig and reduced Meyer to giggles with his willingness to “testify” during the set up for “Take Me to the Pilot.”
I firmly believe that the holidays do not really start until the Minnesota Ballet Orchestra launches into Tchaikovsky’s overture for the “Nutcracker” and Alexander Sandor starts playing the celesta. I...