Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces its 15th season


Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces a 2004-05 season filled with exciting dance, music, theater and family shows sure to please audiences of all ages and tastes. In addition to returning favorites, such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Quick Center's resident orchestra The Live Music Project, the year features a season-long jazz tribute with saxophonist David Sanborn, The John Pizzarelli Trio, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and vocalist Diane Schuur; comedian Steven Wright; the Paul Taylor Dance Company; the National Acrobats of Taiwan; and several live radio dramas, dramatic readings and children's events.

The season kicks off on Friday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. with the first of four performances by The Live Music Project, the Quick Center's resident conductor-less orchestra. This installment is called "Music Old and New" and offers works by Bach, Haydn and Project co-founder Daniel Smith. "Fiddler's Three," including virtuoso violin pieces in three styles - Klezmer, Classical and American fiddling - will be presented on Friday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m., A program called "The Letters and Music of Mozart" follows on Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m. The orchestra will also perform "Storytelling and Music," a family afternoon of classic stories and orchestral accompaniment, on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company, one of the world's most exquisite ensembles, take the stage at the main Kelley Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. Celebrating its 50th season, the company offers the beautiful and innovative work of the man the New York Times calls "the reigning master of modern dance."

Live! Lit opens its second season of dramatic readings of stellar short fiction on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m. with "On Food," an afternoon featuring MFK Fisher, Florence King and Lara Vapnyar.

Conceived and directed by local thespian Tess Link, Live! Lit continues on Sunday, Nov. 7, with "How I Learned to Cook," which features stories on mother/daughter relationships by Jamie Callan, Vivian Gornick and Kate Braverman. The third installment, "On Travel," on Sunday, Dec. 5, features writings by T. Coraghessan Boyle, Frederick Reiken and William Maxwell. Santha Rama Rass, Rabindranath Tagore and Jhumpa Lahiri will be in the spotlight for "Stories From India" on Sunday, Jan. 30.

The final two afternoons are: "Masters of the Genre," featuring authors O. Henry, Anton Chekhov and Katherine Mansfield, on Sunday, Feb. 13; and "On Parenting," highlighting Damon Runyon, Robyn Joy Leff and Gish Jen, on Sunday, March 13. An afternoon tea precedes Live! Lit events, which all begin at 3 p.m.

Grammy Award winner and jazz saxophonist legend David Sanborn offers a selection of music, interspersed with insights from his more than four decades in music, on Friday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m.

He'll be followed on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. by the first performance of the season from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the country's premier chamber music ensemble and a favorite of Quick Center subscribers for many seasons. The first program includes Schumann, Tcherepnin, Bartok and Dvorák. The ensemble will return on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. with an all-Brahms program. The final performance of the season on Saturday, April 2, at 8 p.m. will feature an all-Schubert program.

The children's offerings begin on Sunday, Oct. 17, with "Very Eric Carle" by the Mermaid Theatre Company of Nova Scotia. Programs for young people run throughout the season and include: The Omaha Theater Company for Young People in "Miss Nelson is Missing, the Musical," on Sunday, Nov. 14; Theatre IV's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Sunday, Dec. 12; Theatreworks USA's production of "Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping and Other Stories" on Sunday, Feb. 6; "What's Opera Doc?" from the Lincoln Center Reel-to-Real Series on Sunday, April 3; and Theatreworks USA's "Junie B. Jones" on Sunday, May 1. All shows are at 1 and 3 p.m.

Image: Steven WrightAcademy Award-winning comedian Steven Wright will bring his quirky, deadpan style humor to the Quick Center stage on Friday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. The star of two well-received HBO specials and several films, Wright has an ability to bend reality that is all his own and always laugh-out-loud funny.

Next up, the Dresden Philharmonic, a legendary German orchestra, with conductor Rafael Frúhbeck de Burgos and acclaimed violin soloist Julia Fischer will present an all-Brahms program on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m.

For the past 30 years, the Kronos Quartet has been changing perceptions around the world of what a string quartet should be. This genre-bending group takes the stage on Friday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. for another memorable performance.

The popular live radio drama series kicks off its season with Orson Welles' "A Christmas Carol" on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, in the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theater. The performance includes the usual suspects - Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the irascible Scrooge - appearing just as the radio and film master and his cast did when it debuted with live special effects and ads. Director Daniel Smith and his seasoned performers will be back Friday, Jan. 28, and Saturday, Jan. 29, with "Strange and Unusual Programs," an evening of unintentionally hilarious adventures from "Roger Kilgore, Public Defender" to "I Was a Communist for the FBI." The radio drama season wraps up with "Murder and Consequences," an evening of whodunits, on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19.

The Quick Center's season-long Jazz Tribute Project continues with The John Pizzarelli Trio, featuring Pizzarelli, a hip vocalist/guitarist who's developed an army of devoted fans. He, pianist Ray Kennedy and Martin Pizzarelli on bass will perform on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m.

The holiday season continues with the much-anticipated annual seasonal concert by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra on Friday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. One of the country's oldest orchestras will offer a delightful program of carols, classical selections and other holiday favorites.

The Quick Center's intriguing theater reading series begins with "The Kindness of Strangers: An Evening with Tennessee Williams," featuring short plays and monologues from the master of the sad café, a program that runs Thursday, Jan. 20, through Saturday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m. The series continues with "A Stain on the Quiet: Three Acts by Samuel Beckett," starring acclaimed actors James Noble and Carolyn Coates, running from Thursday, March 10, through Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m. "Danger, People at Large," running from Thursday, April 21, through Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m., will include three short comedies about couples by Fred Stroppel.

Gaining worldwide acclaim for its impressive choir, ballet and orchestra, Opera Verdi Europa will perform Giuseppe Verdi's beloved "La Traviata" on Friday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m.

Image: Dance BrazilThe mood changes to intoxicating rhythm and intricate movement on Friday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. when Dance Brazil takes the stage. Under the direction of Jelon Vieira, the company mesmerizes audiences with the vibrant style of Capoeira, a soul-stirring blend of martial arts and an African beat.

Jazz trumpet icon and multiple Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval, a founding member of Irakere, brings his unique blend of Afro-Cuban jazz, rock and classical to the Quick Center on Friday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m.

The cool sounds of hot jazz echo through the Quick again on Friday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. with "Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Music of the Masters: The Music of Dexter Gordon." One of the key innovators of bebop, this tenor saxophonist played in the language of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, but never lost the heart of the romantic ballads of Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster.

Jazz appreciation continues with "Hangin' with the Giants," an engaging program of interactive animation and live music and narration that brings to life such musical greats as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. The family fun begins on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m.

The Trinity Irish Dance Company headlines a St. Patrick's Day Celebration for the whole family on Sunday, March 6, at 3 p.m. The troupe crosses both cultural and disciplinary boundaries, creating a thoroughly fresh and engaging choreography that's graceful and dazzling.

Two-time Grammy winner Diane Schuur unleashes her stunning range and exacting technique on a program of pop, gospel, jazz and blues on Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m.

Featuring one of the Quick Center's resident musicians, Sandip Burman and Friends brings audiences into the exciting world of Indian jazz-fusion with superb instrumental technique and inventive arrangements on Thursday, March 31, at 7 and 9 p.m.

The St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre performs its "Romeo and Juliet" with music by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by Serge Vikulov on Friday, April 1, at 8 p.m. Under the artistic direction of Yuri Petukhov, this company dances with the lyrical beauty of the high Russian tradition in this time-honored tale.

Switching gears again, the Quick plays host to the exuberant National Acrobats of Taiwan, ROC, a troupe of remarkable discipline that blends artistic beauty with jaw-dropping feats of athleticism. This internationally acclaimed group will perform on Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.

Jazz violinist Randy Sabien and acclaimed bassist Brian Torff will headline "A Tribute to Stephane Grappelli" on Thursday, April 14, at 7 and 9 p.m. The pair and a set of veteran musical friends will offer a mix of contemporary, blues, jazz, standards and the original music that made Grappelli a violin legend.

The inimitable TV personality Brett Somers stars in a musical memoir on life in and out of show business in "An Evening with Brett Somers" from Thursday, May 5, through Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m. Somers, who appeared in "The Odd Couple," "Perry Mason," and "Match Game," speaks frankly about Hollywood, marriage and more in this hilarious cabaret outing.

Four masters of jazz round out the season on a memorable note with "Jazz in the Grand Manner" on Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. Co-sponsored with the Westport Arts Center, this event features Dick Hyman, Derek Smith, Bill Charlap and James Williams in a tribute to the very best in jazz.

For ticket information or a copy of the Quick Center's 2004-05 calendar of events, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. Discounts for Quick Center events are available to subscribers and groups. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 1, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 245