The arts in Wilmington offer music—inside and outside
This month, The Playhouse on Rodney Square transforms into the infamous Kit Kat Klub, as Cabaret takes the stage March 13-18.
Based on Roundabout Theatre Company’s Tony Award–winning production, Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s version of Cabaret marks the first visit to Wilmington for this Broadway revival. Mendes and Marshall are the original director and co-director/choreographer, respectively,
Get ready to be welcomed to the notorious nightclub where the emcee, Sally Bowles, and a sexy, raucous ensemble nightly titillate, tantalize and entice crowds to “…leave your troubles outside.” But as the atmosphere in pre-World War II Germany grows tenuous, will Berlin’s decadent nightlife be enough to get through?
This renowned musical—book by Joe Masteroff and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb—originally opened on Broadway in 1966 and London’s West End in 1968. Cabaret has since enjoyed many revivals (London in 1986, 1993, 2006 and 2012; Broadway in 1987, 1998 and 2014) and, of course, the memorable 1972 film starring Liza Minnelli. It features some of the most recognizable songs in theater history, including the hallmark “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.”
This all-new production launched in December 2017 in Worcester, Mass., with tour direction by BT McNicholl, tour choreography by Jennifer Werner and original costume design by William Ivey Long. The company of 21 quadruple-threat performers (actors, singers, dancers and musicians) features Erik Schneider as the animated Emcee, Bailey McCall Thomas as British chanteuse Sally Bowles and University of Delaware alumnus Carl Pariso as American writer and Sally’s tortured love, Clifford Bradshaw.
During his time at the University of Delaware, Pariso studied Music Composition and Theatre Performance and performed with The REP, Chapel Street Players and UD Chorale. He now makes his home in New York City.
Cabaret opens for a press preview on Tuesday, March 13, and runs through Sunday, March 18. Tickets start at $40, and discounts are available for seniors and groups of 10 or more. Call The Playhouse Box Office at 888-0200 for discount information or visit ThePlayhouseDE.org to purchase tickets online.
Christina Cultural Arts Center Hosts Wilmington Debut of Jazz Songstress
Christina Cultural Arts Center continues its streak of presenting well-known regional and national musicians in the intimate setting of its Clifford Brown Performance Space. On Sunday, March 11, Christina welcomes jazz siren Alicia Olatuja in her area debut.
The St. Louis–born Olatuja—who rose to fame after her 2013 performance at President Obama’s second inauguration—released her first solo album, Timeless, in 2014. Her influences include gospel, soul, jazz and classical genres and she has performed with such renowned artists as Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and Christian McBride.
Christina Executive Director H. Raye Jones Avery notes that during the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Touring Network members’ conference, Olatuja was recognized by Newport Jazz Festival musical director McBride as one of the newest “voices to experience.”
“The outstanding endorsements resonating from her performance at the inauguration and directly from Christian McBride led us to the obvious choice to invite Alicia to Christina Cultural Arts Center’s Jazz Touring Network performance season this year,” says Avery. “Alicia’s lush tone and welcoming stage presence will surely draw audiences into her magnetic personality and performance.”
Tickets for this up-close-and-personal performance are only $20 and are available at ccacde.org through March 10. Olatuja’s engagement with Christina is made possible through The Jazz Touring Network of Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation with support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.
Alicia and her band have performed throughout the country at venues like the Jazz Standard, Vermont Jazz Center, Sioux Falls JazzFest, Rockport Jazz Festival, Markham Jazz Festival, Monty Alexander Jazz Fest and the Harlem Stage Gatehouse.
Market Street Music Welcomes Spring with Musical Diversity
Market Street Music opens its spring performance season with three full-length Festival Concerts and a dozen Thursday Noontime Concerts, all beginning this month.
Leading off the Noontime Concert calendar is a Thursday, March 1, spring celebration by Center City Chorale, aptly entitled “Jubilate!” The weekly series continues through May 10 with genre-spanning artists, including duos of clarinet/piano and violin/piano; a banjo soloist; and a sneak preview of OperaDelaware’s April/May Puccini festival. Admission for all Thursday Noontime Concerts is a suggested donation of $5.
The Festival Concert lineup is equally diverse, beginning with a Sunday, March 4, 3 p.m. return performance by popular chamber ensemble Pyxis Piano Quartet. Pyxis, known for a sold-out series at the Delaware Art Museum, will present a program of piano quartets by Surinach and Chausson.
On Friday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m., Market Street Music welcomes another repeat performance, by Ayreheart Renaissance Music. Founded by Grammy-nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane, Ayreheart brings the lute—known as the most popular instrument of the Renaissance Era—into the 21st century with the all the energy and flair of a rock concert. This dynamic three-piece ensemble performs music from the Renaissance, interspersed with traditional Scottish and Irish tunes and Celtic- , Renaissance- and Americana-inspired originals.
Finally, the talented Mastersingers of Wilmington present an All-German concert of works by Bach, Buxtehude and Mendelssohn to round out the season on Saturday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m.
All Market Street Music performances are held at First & Central Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Rodney Square across from the Hotel du Pont. Tickets for Festival Concerts are $20 ($10 for students) at marketstreetmusicde.org or $25 at the door.