TV Show Reviews
Arts Summer Festival"
review by Suzanne
Summer 2012 on PBS
PBS sent me a disk full of previews of their concerts
this summer on Friday nights. It looks like an entertaining
series of Summer entertainment.
June brings Mariachi High, which is all about students
trying out for the world's best mariachi band. It's
fascinating! "In a part of America that rarely makes
headlines, there is a small town with a group of teenagers
who will inspire, surprise and bring you to your feet with
their astonishing musical virtuosity and the music they
make. MARIACHI HIGH spends a year in the life of the
champion mariachi ensemble of Zapata High School on the Rio
Grande in south Texas."
July 7 is Islamic Art - Mirror of the Invisible World.
This is not my kind of thing, but it's pretty to look at, at
least, and architecture, history and art buffs should be
pleased. "Travel to nine countries and across 1,400 years of
cultural history to explore the astonishing artistic and
architectural riches of Islam. With the insights and
commentary of leading art scholars from around the world,
the film delves into the art of religious life in Islamic
culture and into the secret world inside the palaces of the
elite. From the extraordinary array of metalwork, textiles,
paintings and architecture that illuminate the culture,
filmmaker Rob Gardner sheds light on the shared histories of
western and Islamic societies, revealing more continuity
than division. Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon
July 13th is a behind-the-scenes look at John Leguizamo
and his concert - he is very funny, and exhausting! "Get a
behind-the-scenes look at one of the industry’s most
versatile actors: John Leguizamo. This profile of the
actor/playwright looks at his unorthodox rise to success
while capturing his struggles to mount his latest one-man
show. From his Colombian and “NuyoRican” roots to his
high-profile career in Hollywood, Leguizamo bares his soul."
July 20th is the Kansas City Symphony. Soprano Joyce
Didonato comes home to give a special concert. "Architect
Moshe Safdie’s extraordinary new Kauffman Center for the
Performing Arts provides the stunning backdrop for a
performance-documentary that profiles the Grammy
Award-winning Kansas City Symphony, their vibrant artistic
director and conductor Michael Stern, and the radiant,
celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. A concert wrapped
by documentary narratives, this special tracks DiDonato’s
nostalgic return to her hometown — and her thrilling
Kauffman Center debut — after a triumphant appearance with
Plácido Domingo at The Metropolitan Opera in New York."
July 27 is all about Havana, Havana - Cuban musicians
unite to give a great concert. It makes you want to dance.
"Feel the soul and energy of African-Cuban drummers, guajira
guitarists and the pulsing melodies of celebrated Cuban
musician Raul Paz, who brings together fellow musical stars
Descemer Bueno, Kelvis Ochoa and David Torrens for a concert
in Havana. All of them left Cuba years ago; their decision
to return has injected a new spirit into Cuban music.
Mirroring Cuba’s growing relationship with the world,
HAVANA, HAVANA! highlights the evolution of the country’s
musical expression in the 21st century."
August 3 is the Barnes Collection. This is an interesting
documentary. "Dr. Albert Barnes’ remarkable rise from
Philadelphia’s working-class neighborhood to the top of the
modern art world. This unique tale bounces back and forth
through time as the late Dr. Barnes travels the world to
collect works of art by some of history’s most famous
artists — Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, Renoir and many others.
The film digs deep into the intricacies of each painting,
offering a rare look at the priceless collection and the new
Philadelphia museum that houses it."
August 10 Great Performances - This is always
wonderful. This year, it's the Tanglewood 75th Anniversary
Celebration. Beautiful music. What a great way to end this
series! "Located in the Berkshire Mountains of western
Massachusetts, Tanglewood is one of the world's most beloved
music festivals. The performance, a presentation of GREAT
PERFORMANCES, will feature appearances by the Boston
Symphony Orchestra (BSO), the Boston Pops, the Tanglewood
Festival Chorus, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra — led
by conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart and Andris
Nelsons — and iconic Tanglewood artists Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo
Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Peter Serkin and James Taylor. The
wide-ranging program, which will be taped on July 14, will
include Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”;
Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town;
selections from the Great American Songbook; Franz Joseph
Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D, 2nd and 3rd movements; Pyotr
Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile for cello and
strings; Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, for violin and
orchestra; Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse”; and Ludwig van
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy."
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