PigPen Theatre Returns to Garfield

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On September 30th, the musical/theatrical sensation, PigPen Theatre Company, returns to the Garfield Center for the Arts. The Garfield has once again joined forces with The Mainstay, Rock Hall’s home for live music, to bring this incredible group to Chestertown for a one-night only concert performance.

The self-proclaimed “band of storytellers” began creating their unique brand of theater, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced their original plays in New York City and toured the country – earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, and many more, ranking them in the top ten theatrical events of 2011, 2012, and 2013. They were the first group to win the NYC Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years in a row (2010/11) and have gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Jeff Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American acting company for a production of Shakespeare’s “Pericles”.

PigPen’s debut album, “Bremen”, was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview, sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, “The Way I’m Running”, in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, “Whole Sun.” performed at Mumford & Sons’ return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash” starring Meryl Streep.

Co-sponsored by The Mainstay and The Garfield Center for the Arts, the concert on September 30th is at 8pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online, over the phone by calling 410-810-2060, or in person at the Garfield Center box office. Get your tickets early! This concert was nearly sold out in 2016 and you don’t want to miss them. The theater is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

First Friday One Minute Plays

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On June 2nd, director Tia Glomb presents a sneak peek of the 4th annual Hey, Wait A Minute one-minute play festival at 5 p.m. in the Kohl Lobby at the Garfield Center for the Arts.

The one-minute plays are showcased each year in conjunction with Short Attention Span Theatre, the Garfield’s annual 10-minute play festival. Now in its’ 13th year, Short Attention Span Theatre brings local actors, playwrights and directors together for an evening of theater designed to hold your attention for just. long. enough.

Admission during Hey, Wait A Minute is free, the bar will be open and the box office will be selling tickets for the 10-minute play festival that runs for three weekends starting on June 23rd. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. For more information, call 410-810-2060.

 

 

Youth Choir to Perform Selections from “Broadway and Beyond”

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The Chester River Youth Choir will be tipping their hat to Broadway on May 12th, with a concert at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 7:30pm. Under the direction Julie Lawrence, and accompanied on piano by Michelle Sensenig and Heidi Butler, the group will perform classic songs from the Great White Way that include On Broadway, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Regards to Broadway, Singin’ In The Rain, and Lullaby of Broadway. While the concert is FREE, donations to the Chester River Youth Choir are encouraged.

Violist Caitlin Patton-Rosenberg will be joining the choir for their rendition of Shenandoah, and the Chestertown Ukulele Club will accompany Over the Rainbow. For a preview before the concert, catch the Youth Choir singers at the Garfield Center during First Friday on May 5th. They will be performing in the Kohl Lobby from 5-6pm.

Now in it’s 4th year, the Chester River Youth Choir is open to treble-voice singers ages 7-17, and meets Mondays 4:15-5:45pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts. No auditions required. For more information contact youthchoir@garfieldcenter.org. The Chester River Youth Choir is supported by the Kent County Arts Council, the Garfield Center for the Arts, and the Chester River Chorale.

D’Amore Duo at the Garfield Center May 6

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The D’Amore Duo – classical guitarist William Feasley and oboist Emily Tsai — are bringing their unique sound of classical guitar and oboe to the Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown on Saturday, May 6 at 7 PM.

Feasley founded the D’Amore Duo in 1991 to explore chamber music for oboe and guitar.  This exploration expanded to jazz and other musical genres and to attracting works written for the Duo by renowned American and international composers. The varied program for this concert features works by Astor Piazzola, Napolean Coste, Chick Corea, Peter Madlem, Richard Greene, and Marcelo Ferraris. Included are three works written especially for the Duo by Ferraris, an Argentinian guitarist and composer; Greene, a classical violinist turned bluegrass fiddler; and celebrated American composer Madlem.

D’Amore Duo has toured internationally and domestically to enthusiastic reviews at venues such as St. Martin in the Fields in London; the Yale Centre for British Art; the National Cathedral and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; the Arts Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand; the Spanish Institute in New York; and live on ABC International Radio in Sydney, Australia. They have released three critically-claimed recordings.

This musical evening begins at 7 PM. Tickets, $15 each, are available online at www.garfieldcenter.org or by calling the box office at (410) 810-2060.The Garfield Center is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland on the beautiful Eastern Shore.

About William Feasley. William Feasley, who resides in Maryland, was the first guitarist to be awarded the Peabody Conservatory’s Artist Diploma. He has since been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a gold medal in the 1987 Pan Hellenic Guitar Competition in Athens and a 1996 Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts in Maryland. Feasley has performed worldwide and was selected to play for Andrés Segovia – “the father of modern classical guitar” — at the Master’s historic last class at the University of Southern California in 1986. Feasley’s recent tours took him to Australia, New Zealand, and more than a dozen countries in Europe and South America. Feasley is on the faculty of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland.

About Emily Tsai. Emily Tsai received her Bachelor of Music degree in Oboe Performance from the Eastman School of Music and her Master of Music from the University of Maryland. Emily was a top finisher in Concerto Competitions at Eastman and at the University of Maryland. She has participated in many Festivals including those in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Florida.Emily currently resides in Washington, D.C. where she ls an active freelance musician and on the faculty of the Holton-Arms School.

This concert was programmed by Kent County resident and life-long classical and jazz music lover Muphen R. Whitney.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore Opens April 14th

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Veteran Director Diane Landskroener has assembled a formidable cast for the production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which opens Friday, April 14th at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, the show is a scrapbook of stories about unfortunate prom dresses, the traumatic lighting in fitting rooms, high heels, short skirts and the existential state of having nothing to wear.  The NY Times called it “Breezy and perfectly enjoyable for the stray men in the room, it’s like a big bowl of buttered popcorn (but calorie-free!) for the women who can share deeply in the particulars of experience dissected and discussed.”

     

Photos: Jen Friedman (left) and Jennifer Kafka Smith (right).

The five women tasked with bringing these stories to life are no strangers to the Garfield stage. Jen Friedman, Jennifer Kafka Smith, Julie Lawrence, Melissa McGlynn and Hester Sachse have been in a number of recent shows, including Short Attention Span Theatre; My Fair Lady;The 39 Steps;The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged; A Christmas Carol; Stretchmarks; and Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike, to name a few.

Opening night is also Ladies Night, with a buy two, get one free special for women. Or, choose to take advantage of the Garfield’s recurring opening night discount; get $5 off when you wear your Garfield t-shirt! The show runs three weekends, from April 14th-30th. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8pm, and Sunday matinees begin at 3pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for military and seniors 65+, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.GarfieldCenter.org or by calling the box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Broadway Stars Performing at the Garfield

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The board of directors of the Garfield Center for the Arts are proud to announce the Theatre’s 2017 gala fundraiser; Broadway by the River! Hosted by Marti Gould Cummings and featuring an evening of intimate performances and conversations with cast members Brandon Hudson of Hamilton and Michelle Dowdy of Hairspray, Broadway by the River will deliver some of that “Big Apple” theatre magic to Chestertown on Friday, April 7th at 8pm.

Marti Gould Cummings (formerly of Kennedyville) is a comedian and host who most recently hosted the PBS show SIP N CHAT on New York’s WNET Channel 13. He can be seen as a regular guest host on MTV Live with Mike Kelton and weekly at his Broadway talk show, Stage Fright, that has featured over 25 Tony Award winners and nominees as guests. His comedy concerts have sold out across the country and in London. As an actor he was featured off Broadway in the Drama Desk nominated musical Twist, at Webster Hall in Life & Death of Kenyon Phillips directed by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman and on the hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock. For more info www.martigcummings.com

Brandon Hudson moved from St. Louis in 2013 with a bachelors degree in Dance from Lindenwood University. His most recent credits include: Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway, the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the international tour of West Side Story, a 2017 Mark Webb film The Only Living Boy in NY and a lab series by Estée Lauder.

Michelle Dowdy played Baltimore’s leading lady, Tracy Turnblad in the 2005-2008 Original Broadway Cast of Hairspray. Other theatre credits include: Regional: The Wild Party, Hairspray (RCL), Songs for a New World and The Vagina Monologues. She is a nightlife and cabaret Artist. Her one-woman show, A Brass Act, debuted at 54 Below and you can find it on iTunes. Hudson and Dowdy will be joined by Cummings for some of their singing performances.

Cummings wanted to share some of the NYC theatre world with the community where he grew up, and the Garfield was the perfect venue. He writes, “As my career grows I want to bring a little of that Broadway energy to the Eastern Shore.” Those lucky enough to get tickets will be able to hear Hudson and Dowdy perform songs from their respective shows, without paying the Broadway ticket price.

Tickets to this exciting event are expected to sell out. Limited VIP “Broadway Pass” tickets are $100 each and include front row table seating as well as entrance to an exclusive meet-and-greet with the performers after the show. Tickets for the front row of the balcony are $75, and general admission is $50. Tickets can be purchased online at www.GarfieldCenter.org, by calling 410-810-2060 or in person at the Garfield Box Office, located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. Purchase your tickets now to show your support for the Garfield’s mission of nurturing, celebrating and supporting the arts and artists through performance and education.

Peabody Conservatory Children’s Opera at the Garfield

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The Peabody Conservatory of Music’s opera department will be at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 10am on Tuesday, March 28th with a performance of Papageno! This special morning show is part of the Garfield Center’s Educational Outreach Program and is made possible by support from the Kent County Arts Council and the Hedgelawn Foundation. Papageno! is a 55–minute condensation of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute and is ideal for a younger audience.

 

The main plot thread of the original opera is maintained, but the whole thing is presented from Papageno’s point of view, with the other characters as adjuncts to his story. Those familiar with the opera will note that the roles of Papageno, Papagena, Monostatos, and the three Ladies are virtually complete; Tamino, Pamina, and the Queen of the Night sing about half their music; and Sarastro and all the priestly characters are omitted. The roles of The Queen of the Night and Papagena are doubled by two of the three Ladies.

The Educational Outreach Program at the Garfield Center offers bi-annual high quality multi-cultural performances as a field trip opportunity to the local public and private schools. Tickets are $5, with special rates available for school groups. Tickets for individuals can be purchased only at the door, while school groups should contact the Garfield Center ahead of time to make seating arrangements. Please call 410-810-2060 or contact thogans@garfieldcenter.org to reserve your seats. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Jazz Concert at The Garfield Center

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Saturday, April 1, 2017 won’t just be April Fools’ Day – it also will be Music Lovers Day at The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre in Chestertown, Maryland.

WAMMIES* award-winning jazz guitarist Rick Whitehead will team up with jazz and classical pianist Stef Scaggiari to bring the audience an exciting program of selections from the standard jazz repertoire and pieces composed by Whitehead and Scaggiari.

After solo stints during the first half of the program, the two artists will come together after Intermission for vocals with piano by Scaggiari with accompaniment by Whitehead on guitar. The program’s finale will include one of Whitehead’s signature entertainments – requests from the audience that Whitehead melds into a melodic whole – a piece of music that is new and different for every performance and that is a true gift for listeners!

This fun evening begins at 7 PM. Tickets, $15 each, are available online at www.eventbrite.com/e/rick-whitehead-in-concert-tickets-32412015210?ref=ecal or by calling the Garfield Center Box Office at (410) 810-2060. The Garfield Center is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland on the beautiful Eastern Shore.

About Rick Whitehead. Rick Whitehead, one of the Baltimore-Washington area’s most honored and sought-after guitarists, was the featured guitarist with the Airmen of Note for 22 years. He retired from the Air Force in 1991 and now performs, teaches, and records jazz standards and his own compositions. According to Eric Brace of the Washington Post, “Whitehead’s style encompasses the entire history of jazz guitar.” Rick’s last appearance in Chestertown was at last year’s Chestertown Jazz Festival.

About Stef Scaggiari. Centreville resident Stef Scaggiari is well known to area classical and jazz buffs for his “lyricism, flawless technique, and crystalline touch” (Jazz Times Magazine). Jazz vocalist Ethel Ennis notes that Stef is one of the few musicians who has “successfully bridge[d] the artificial gap between classic European music, American Jazz, and popular song.” From Bach to Billy Joel – it is all in Stef Scaggiari’s repertoire.

This concert is part of the Garfield Center’s new initiative to add jazz and classical music to its musical programming. These new concerts are programmed by Kent County resident and life-long classical and jazz music lover Muphen R. Whitney. The next concert in this series will be on Saturday, May 6 at 7 PM and will feature the D’Amore Duo with classical guitarist William Feasley and oboist Emily Tsai.

* WAMMIES are awarded each year by the Washington Area Musician’s Association. Whitehead won in 1998 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album (“Live in Captivity” recorded with his jazz trio) and in 2006 for “Best Jazz Instrumentalist”. (For further information: www.wamadc.com/wama/the_wammies.html)

Leyla McCalla Trio at the Garfield Saturday March 18

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cover-shotThe new Roots at the Garfield concert series continues March 18th at 8pm with a performance by the Leyla McCalla Trio. A Haitian-American who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, Leyla McCalla plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty — it vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive and contemporary.

Born in New York City to Haitian immigrant parents, and raised in suburban New Jersey, Leyla experienced a renewed sense of connection with her Haitian heritage after moving to New Orleans in 2010. “I feel very at home here,” she says. “The more I learned about the history of Louisiana, its ties to Haiti and French speaking culture, the more sense of belonging I felt and continue to feel.”

The relocation led to her appearance on the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ GRAMMY-nominated 2012 album Leaving Eden, as well as extensive concert dates as a touring member of the group. It also deeply enriched Leyla’s own music and sharpened her sense of purpose, setting her on the path that ultimately resulted in the making of her album, “Vari-Colored Songs”.

This concert is the second in the five-part Roots at the Garfield series, sponsored by Andy and Leslie Price, which brings early blues, bluegrass, folk, r&b and rock music to Chestertown. Remaining concerts include The Steel Wheels on June 9th, David Stone: The Johnny Cash Experience on July 22nd and Hannah Gill and the Hours on September 9th. Tickets are $30 general admission and $20 for students. Subscriptions to the entire series and tickets to individual concerts are available by calling 410-810-2060, online at www.GarfieldCenter.org or at the box office. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.