Posts by Edward A. Kliszus

Leon Botstein with The Orchestra Now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo credit: Edward Kliszus
Music
Edward A Kliszus

The Orchestra Now presents Sight and Sound

Today was a splendid example of the expressive power of visual and auditory art articulated with a fine orchestra, magnificent art exhibit, and stimulating repartee. Be sure to visit the Tudor exhibit that runs through January 8, 2023, and see the links below to exciting and equally stimulating and entertaining adventures through the arts by the nonpareil Maestro Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now.

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A Tomato Can't Grow in the Bronx at the Chain Theater
Off Broadway
Edward A Kliszus

A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx

A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx is a heartfelt, sentimental look at old-world family dynamics that many of us saw evaporate after the shifts from cities to suburbs that accelerated in the late 60s.

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Kathryn Farmer Album Cover
Cabaret
Edward A Kliszus

Kathryn Farmer at Swing 46

If the 17-piece Kevin Blanq big band and Kathryn Farmer were not enough to get you in the mood for smooth swinging and dancing, the urbane, bespoke, and suave dancer extraordinaire Manuel Rojas appeared to deliver a dance lesson at 8:30 as a second band, Swing a Delic arrived on stage. With Rojas, it was time to revel in the legacies of Al Minns and Frankie Manning with Lindy Hop, swing outs, tuck-in-turn, jazz, tap, sugar foot walk, breakaway, and swing dance….dum-dee-dum, dum-dee-dum, dum-dee-dum, dum-dee-dum. Revelers thronged to the dance floor as the buoyant and joyous Rojas drew them in.

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Wendy Moten at the Nashville Hall of Fame Museum. Photo from wendymoten.com
Cabaret
Edward A Kliszus

Wendy Moten at Birdland

Wendy Moten ascended to the Birdland stage with a smile and charm that lit up the room. From her first words and the comfortable swing tempo of her first song, All of Me, Moten emerged as a poised, expressive, and consummate artist. She conveyed her passionate insights with a beautiful, clear voice and through her ability to command any genre she desired.

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Text superimposed on The Siege by James Little. Oil and Wax on Canvas. 2003. Private Collection, NY
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts

For the first time in 35 years, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts returned to the stage. Envisioned initially by Ellington as a “Festival of Grace,” provenance for Sacred Concerts is informed by a broad spectrum of jazz, classical and choral music, spirituals, dance, gospel, and blues. Ellington’s compositional product in this venue consisted of a triptych of 34 songs originally recorded in 1965, 1968, and 1973 respectively. It can be argued that an august Ellington facing his mortality considered his Sacred Concerts among his most significant works.

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Zeroboy and Frank Zilinyi in The Haunting of East 4th Street. Photo credit: Dan Bianchi
Off Broadway
Edward A Kliszus

Radiotheatre presents The Haunting of 85 East 4th Street

The rich baritone voice of raconteur Frank Zilinyi launched Radiotheatre’s deliciously macabre exordium of The Haunting of 85 East 4th Street, a dark, spellbinding tale of New York City history, horror, mysterious sounds, ghosts, curses, cannibals, occult, exorcisms, diablerie, and doom. Zilinyi and his partner Zero Boy were our able cicerones, guiding us through a hypnotizing tale of gripping suspense and almost unspeakable dread.

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Blake Allen. Photo credit: Bryan Clavel
Chamber Music
Edward A Kliszus

INSOMNIA 

Blake Allen’s Insomnia is a cerebral, enigmatic, and mystifying artistic creation chronicling a night of an insomniac narrator. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “Sleep and Waking” (1934), Allen mobilizes the power of music to dramatize and intensify the import of the conflicting tensions of the restive, lone sufferer.

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"L’Amour à Passy" by G.W. Reed, directed by Manfred Bormann. G.W. Reed as Benjamin Franklin, Musa Gurnis as Madame Brillon. Photo credit: Jonathan Slaff
Off Broadway
Edward A Kliszus

L’Amour `a Passy

Benjamin Franklin the man emerged as a frowzy, flawed, and crafty roué, relentlessly attempting to seduce the married Mme Brillon. Franklin deftly engaged and modified his façon de parler and wits to enamor the charming Brillon while also initiating, to no avail, games of chess with personal stakes to tarnish Brillon’s marital honor.

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Ben Wendel. Photo credit: Shervin Lainez
Jazz
Edward A Kliszus

Ben Wendel Quartet at the Village Vanguard

Wendel’s songs are strikingly original, expressive, and extraordinarily inventive. His ideas and improvisations are freely chromatic, virtuosic, and organic, and he employed subtle be-bop idioms when it suited him. His facility is so commanding that he regularly reaches into the stratosphere of the tenor saxophone’s extended range. Notably, he can express ideas with the restraint of Lester Young while employing the pyrotechnics of Charlie Parker.

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L-R Julia Mack, Bridget Ann White, and Eileen Sugameli. Photo credit: Valerie Terranova
Off Broadway
Edward A Kliszus

FUKT at The Tank

This cast deserves high praise for maintaining the challenging, complex characters and tensions while also charming and engaging viewers who could not resist being sympathetic and moved. Their performances were effective, stimulating, and inventive.

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American Classical Orchestra musicians and chorus. From aconyc.org
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

The American Classical Orchestra presents REMEMBER

The performance of Mozart’s Requiem, K526, was glorious and ecstatic. The sui generis admixture of rich sounds from soloists, chorus, and orchestra was superb. At the same time, the sumptuous luminosity of the famed Lacrimosa was almost more than an emotive listener could process without soulful introspection.

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