Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces its 14th season


Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces a 2003-04 season filled with dance, music, theatre, family shows and a six-month Russian Arts and Letters Festival. In addition to returning favorites, such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the 14th season features singers Joan Baez and Ute Lemper, Irish traditionalists Altan, pianist Andre Watts, dance-illusionists Pilobolus, and the stirring Drummers of West Africa.

The season kicks off with a thrill on Friday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. with "Radio Horror," the first of three evenings of live radio drama recreated in the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theatre. Directed by Daniel Smith of New Haven, the show, which will also be presented Saturday, Oct. 4, at 3 and 8 p.m., will include a collection of tales from yesteryear, accompanied by original music and sound effects. "Dangerous Romance on the Air" will be presented on Friday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 14, at 3 and 8 p.m. The final show is the classic "War of the Worlds," which will be presented Friday, March 12, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 13, at 3 and 8 p.m.

The Bacon Brothers take the stage at the main Kelley Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m. Fronted by Emmy-winning musician Michael Bacon and his film star brother, Kevin, the band blends folk, rock, soul and country into its own distinct sound.

On Sunday, Oct. 5, the Quick Center debuts "Live Lit!" a series of readings of short fiction by masters of the genre. The first, "20th-Century American Writers," features Philip Roth, Flannery O'Connor and Dorothy Parker. The second afternoon of readings, "On Marriage," with stories by Ivan Klima, Julian Barnes and Andrea Lee, will take place Sunday, Nov. 9. The third in the series, "Icons of Russian Literature," on Sunday, Dec. 7, is part of the Quick Center's Russian Arts and Letters Festival, more than 20 events celebrating Russian art, film, dance, music, literature and the humanities. Each Live Lit! event starts at 3 p.m. and will be preceded by afternoon tea at 2 p.m.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to the Quick Center on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. with piano virtuoso Andre Watts. The nation's premier repertory chamber music ensemble, under the artistic direction of David Shifrin, will offer pieces by Brahms, Meyer and Schubert during its first concert of the season. A second concert follows on Saturday, March 27, at 8 p.m., featuring the world premiere tour of the Maw String Sextet and Dvorák's "Sextet for Strings in A minor." An all-Dvorák program is on tap for Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m. An "Art to Heart" discussion with journalist Robert Sherman will be held before each concert from 7 to 7:40 p.m.

The incomparable Joan Baez, folk singer and social activist, takes the stage on Friday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. Since being recognized for her unique soprano voice at a folk festival, she has attained international fame for her influences on the folk and pop music cultures. She, one reviewer wrote, "more than any other modern singer, exemplified the artist as activist."

The season's World Arts offerings begin on Friday, Oct. 31, at 8 p.m. with the Drummers of West Africa. Under the direction of Doudou N'Diaye Rose, this powerful group is widely recognized as the premier percussion orchestra in the world. Originally from Dakar, Senegal, the ensemble has toured the globe, amazing audiences with innovative technique and traditional rhythms.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet performs Friday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. This versatile and lively group is being hailed as one of the world's top guitar ensembles. The evening's performance will feature works by Martin, Gismonti, Rodrigo, York and Shohl. A pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion featuring Laura Nash, Ph.D., director of Fairfield University's Classical Music Department, will begin at 7 p.m.

The acclaimed Pilobolus Dance Company will take the stage for two shows, the first of which is part of the Russian Arts and Letters Festival. On Friday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m., the dance company, known for its invention and athleticism, will team with the St. Lawrence String Quartet for "Sweet Purgatory" and other selections. The second performance, on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m., is an evening of mixed repertory from the imaginative troupe.

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will offer traditional carols and classical selections from a wide variety of cultural and ethnic sources at its holiday concert on Friday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Associate Conductor Gerald Steichen will lead one of the oldest symphony orchestras in America for the memorable evening.

The St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble returns to the Quick on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 3 p.m. The first of two concerts this season, "Baroque and Before" will consider the Celtic tradition and features harpist Siobhan Armstrong and tenor John Elwes. The second concert, "Baroque and Beyond" on Sunday, Feb. 1, at 3 p.m., will highlight the works of J.S. Bach, Pergolesi, C.P.E. Bach and Haydn. Howard Kissel, chief drama critic for the New York Daily News, will lead "Art to Heart" discussions over tea before each concert at 2 p.m.

Grammy-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman, who deftly combines romantic sentiment, digital dexterity and jaw-dropping bravura, will take the stage on Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. A 7 p.m. "Art to Heart" discussion with Laura Nash precedes the appearance by this internationally acclaimed virtuoso.

Known worldwide for combining the artistry of dance with laugh-out-loud humor, Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns to the Quick Center on Friday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. This 29-year-old, all-male dance company performs parodies of classical works from "Giselle" to "Swan Lake," delighting audiences with their unforgettable antics. The performance includes a post-show "Art to Heart" Q & A session with the company.

On Sunday, Feb. 29, at 3 p.m., the Quick Center is proud to present the premier performance of The Live Music Project. Founded by Daniel Smith and Netta Hadari, in cooperation with the Quick Center, the group is designed as a haven for top-notch musicians who want to create exciting concerts in a friendly, open environment that includes only musicians and audience, no conductors. The Feb. 29 program features Bach, Mozart and a world premier of Smith's "Overture in A minor." Part of the ongoing Russian Arts and Letters Festival, a second show on Sunday, March 21, at 1 p.m. will feature Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and selected readings from Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground." Both performances include a post-show "Meet the Artists" session.

Stellar Irish traditionalists Altan will be on hand Sunday, March 14, at 3 p.m. for a St. Patrick's Day Celebration, part of the season's World Arts events. With their lively performances of classic Irish jigs and reels and original ballads, "they're poised for greatness and under no circumstances should they be missed in concert," says The Irish Echo.

An Evening with Kate & Anna McGarrigle will take place Saturday, March 20, at 8 p.m. These Canadian singer-songwriters, who are also sisters, have delighted audiences with their distinctive vocal harmonies, intelligence and charm for decades.

German-born vocalist Ute Lemper has attained worldwide fame for her unique voice and facility with cabaret songs. Best known for her performances in London and Broadway productions of "Chicago," she brings her sultry, perceptive "All That Jazz!" to the Quick Center on Saturday, April 3, at 8 p.m.

Grammy-nominated pianist Brad Mehldau, whose playing Stereophile praises for its "yearning melancholy and rapturous ecstasy," brings his intriguing brand of jazz with traditional elements to the stage on Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m.

In addition to the eclectic lineup scheduled for the year, the Quick Center will host a six-month-long Russian Arts and Letters Festival. The offerings encompass all facets of Russian art and performance, including "Peter and the Wolf" by the Salzburg Marionettes, a concert by the Yale Russian Chorus and an exhibition of Russian stage and costume design. A performance by the Krasnoyarsk National Dance Company of Siberia and the Moscow Festival Ballet's "Giselle," both part of the Quick Center's Dance America series, are also highlights of the festival. From November through March, the Quick Center will present Russian films from the last three decades, including "Solyaris," "Vanya on 42nd Street," and "Repentance." Also planned are readings of works by Chekhov and Pushkin, an Amadeus Trio concert featuring Russian composers and a Russian food tasting.

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m., Sergei Khrushchev, Ph.D., senior fellow in foreign policy development at Brown University, will lecture on cultural similarities and differences in the United States and Russia. Khrushchev, the son of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, will have a book-signing following the lecture.

The Thomas A. Walsh Art Gallery, located in the Quick Center, will be part of the festival through "A World on Stage: Russian Costume and Stage Design from the George Riabov Collection of Russian Art," running from January 24 through March 21. Other exhibitions planned for the 2003-04 season are: "Across Time: The Photographs of Cynthia Brumback," Sept. 18, through Dec. 14; "The 2004 Fairfield University Faculty Studio Art Exhibition," April 1 through May 2; and "The Connecticut Women Artists' Exhibition," June 17 through August 1, 2004.

Gallery Director Diana Mille, Ph.D., will offer four "Director's Choice" lectures throughout the year. This year's topics include Egyptian art, Early Modernism, the Russian Avant-Garde and Tibetan art.

Discounts for Quick Center events are available to subscribers and groups. For ticket information or a copy of the Quick Center's 2003-04 calendar of events, call the box office at 203-254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. 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, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 288