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Archive for the ‘Bernard Shaw’ Category

The best rock and pop concerts in Ireland this week – The Irish Times

Posted: December 8, 2019 at 12:52 am


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Saturday, December 7th

Curry & Hip-hop with Tara Stewart and Mango The Bernard Shaw, Dublin; thebernardshaw.com/event/out-of-space-w-efa-oneil

Sinking into its new home in Phibsborough, the Bernard Shaw events guide has had a makeover too. This is Irelands first hip-hop and curry night. Brought to you by the power couple that is Mango of Mango X Mathman, who should be called Mango chutney for the night, and 2FMs Tara Stewart. So munch on a korma from the Shaws new and improved food menu and bopping away to the finest hip-hop tracks from 10pm until closing time. LB

HamsandwicH Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co Wicklow courthousearts.ie/whats-on-event/hamsandwich; also Friday 13th/Saturday 14th, Whelans, Dublin whelanslive.com/index.php/wav-tickets/

Has it been a quiet year for HamsandwicH? Well hazard a guess that it has been, but with new material on the way we can certify that their live performances havent shifted one iota off from being as celebratory as they have always been. The new material will settle in nicely with selected tracks from their three studio albums (2008s Carry the Meek, 2010s White Fox, 2015s Stories from the Surface), while you can be assured youll hear a well-chosen cover version or two to bring these festive shows even more to life. TCL

Primal Scream Olympia Theatre, Dublin ticketmaster.ie/primal-scream-dublin-09-12-2019/event/180056BFAD4C9B0B?_ga=2.200310444.369424453.1574503900-1629973204.1574503900; also Tuesday 10th, Ulster Hall, Belfast (sold out) waterfront.co.uk/what-s-on/primal-scream/

Primal Screams frontman Bobby Gillespie (58 next year) has been throwing shapes as a singer since 1978, at that time in a Glaswegian punk band called The Drains. After a spell as the drummer with Jesus & Mary Chain, Gillespie threw himself full-time into Primal Scream, and by the late 1980s had embraced the acid house scene. Within a few years, the bands third album, Screamadelica, brought them into the mainstream, where they have, more or less, continued to hang around. As a creative force, Primal Scream have always been a flawed if occasionally glorious proposition. As a live act, they remain rooted in the latter, assisted by a very decent Best Of back catalogue and a frontman who is still as thin and brisk and energetic as a whippet. TCL

Hozier 3Arena, Dublin ticketmaster.ie/hozier-tickets/artist/1896592?_ga=2.37099938.369424453.1574503900-1629973204.1574503900; also Wednesday 11th, same venue

It has been quite the year for Hozier the release of a very good second album (Wasteland, Baby!), a slew of open-air summer shows in Ireland, a recent residency in New Yorks Hammerstein Ballroom, and new material in the shape of the recently released Jackboot Jump, written whilst on tour as a tribute to protest singers Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. More new songs have been flagged for release in early 2020, so it would be safe to say the Wicklow mans shows here will be an astute blend of trusted highlights and an unfamiliar tune or two. Special guest for these two shows is UK singer Freya Ridings. Tonights show is sold out, while there are some tickets left for Wednesday. Better nab em quick, though. TCL

Villagers Cyprus Avenue, Cork eventbrite.ie/e/villagers-tickets-65803771853; also Wednesday 11th, same venue; Friday 13th/Saturday 14th, Vicar Street, Dublin vicarstreet.com/component/thelist/show/1452-villagers-live-at-vicar-st-this-december-live-in-vicar-street-58-59-thomas-street-Dublin-8-on-13-Dec-2019.html?Itemid=1452

Ending 2019 with a sequence of shows is a fitting cherry-on-the-top for Conor OBrien, the man behind (and in front of) this most naturally evolving of Irish groups. Since their formation in 2008, Villagers have released four studio albums, each of which have showcased OBriens mounting gifts as a songwriter. The latest album, 2018s The Art of Pretending to Swim, is a smart departure from previous material without any loss of touch. Similarly, the recently released Sunday Walker EP, featuring songs discovered, jokes OBrien, down the back of an armchair. Further new material will surely be issued in 2020, but in the meantime, there are these pre-Christmas shows. Special guest is Conchr White. Both Dublin shows are sold out. TCL

TiLT #3 Button Factory, Dublin instagram.com/tiltdublin?igshid=t00ugr61mpq

TiLT (Totally Irish Live Tuesdays) is a recently inaugurated monthly showcase presented in association with Dublins Sound Training College and radio station 98FMs Totally Irish show. As hosted by John Barker who next month celebrates 10 years of presenting the exclusively Irish music programme the gigs highlight a mixture of relatively established and emerging acts. Tonights show features music from CC Brez, Stomptown Brass, Abbacaxi, and Bajjna thats most points in between soul, funk, techno/house and reggae. Admission is free just bring along the good vibes and youll be fine. TCL

A House Is Dead Redux Vicar Street, Dublin http://www.ticketmaster.ie/ahouseisdead-redux-i-am-still-the-greatest-dublin-12-12-2019/event/18005729E71E7A23

Earlier this year, Dublin band A House (or rather A House Is Dead, a spikier version featuring two of the original members, Dave Couse and Fergal Bunbury) were presented with the NCH/IMRO Trailblazer Award for their 1991 album, I Am the Greatest. Like previous inaugural recipients Microdisney, further shows were expected and shouted for, yet also like Microdisney you can expect this particular gig to be the final word. You can also anticipate a fierce and fractious end, with a similar reinterpretation of I Am the Greatest along with other songs that Couse and Bunbury hold dear to their hearts. Farewell, A House, or whatever you want to call yourselves it has been very, very good to have known you. TCL

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations Grand Social, Dublin ticketmaster.ie/hannah-williams-the-affirmations-dublin-12-12-2019/event/18005713CA485A2B?_ga=2.32979388.369424453.1574503900-1629973204.1574503900; also Friday 13th, Dolans Upstairs, Limerick dolans.yapsody.com/event/index/457196/hannah-williams-the-affirmations; Saturday 14th, Limelight 2, Belfast ticketmaster.ie/hannah-williams-the-affirmations-belfast-14-12-2019/event/380057138DB8134A

Any mention of retro-soul these days and you automatically think of US music acts digging into their countrys enviable musical past. You tend not to think of the UK, yet Bristol-based Hannah Williams & the Affirmations seem to have skewed perceptions somewhat. They have also captivated certain people people that have given a nod to Williamss impressive vocal talents. Step forward Jay-Z, who sampled a vocal line from The Affirmations song Late Nights & Heartbreaks. Such attention has raised the profile of this surging soul band see and hear what all the fuss is about on their brief (three-date) tour. TCL

Cursed Murphy versus the Resistance Sky & Ground, Wexford

Currently, the creative guise of County Wexford writer and broadcaster Peter Murphy (a regular contributor to these pages), Cursed Murphy versus the Resistance provides neither rest nor peace for the wicked. Via two recently released single tracks last years Foxhole Prayer and this years The Bells of Hell Murphy delivers caustic spoken word with a background of rock-solid guitar riffs and (as the two song titles reference) militaristic beats. Be advised that an albums worth of material will be released next year. (There is no admission fee here, but an honour entry system will be gently applied, with 5 a suggested amount.) TCL

Future Proof: Autre Monde, Elaine Mai, Sans Chatea Bello Bar, Dublin eventbrite.ie/e/future-proof-autre-monde-elaine-mai-sans-chatea-tickets-76788322941?aff=efbeventtix&fbclid=IwAR2ilJz1cNzkZeVIUZoWV9SBFBIVJXJJw8cPKJerkbnXH72qUoNMasfI7FI

Continuing to shine a light on current and interesting music at home and abroad, the 16th edition of Future Proof is a real treat. Featuring Dublin art-rock band Autre Monde, you can hear songs from their upcoming debut album The Imaginary Museum and you can dive into the lush electronic stylings of the wonderful Galway legend Elaine Mai and the chamber-folk maestro that is Austin Moores Sans Chateaux. Tickets are 10/13 online and 15 on the door. LB

Lethal Dialect Risn Dubh, Galway roisindubh.net/gig-details.html?listingID=10279

Tying up a busy year, Dublin rapper and actor Paul Alwright, better known as Lethal Dialect, is playing one of his last shows of the year in Galway. Having released his critically-acclaimed album Hunger as Paul Alwright earlier this year, he is now working the third instalment of his LD50 album series. One of the leading names in the Irish hip-hop community, he continues to find the words, the fury and the gr that goes with living in Dublin. Costello and DJ Scorpio are listed as support. LB

Junior Brother Whelans, Dublin ticketmaster.ie/junior-brother-dublin-12-12-2019/event/18005752C9178F28

Another top Irish act from 2019 is Kerry man Ronan Kealy, whose solo act Junior Brother has delighted music lovers, reviewers and festival goers across the country. His debut album Pull the Right Rope was released on the Galway label Strange Brew and he also appeared on Bath Time, the stunning debut from Maija Sofia. A precise musician and an enthralling live act, hes given us a lot this year so now its your turn to give back. See him, stream him and adore him. LB

Fangclub Button Factory, Dublin ticketmaster.ie/fangclub-dublin-13-12-2019/event/180056ADF6699D75?_ga=2.236936579.369424453.1574503900-1629973204.1574503900

Another Irish band that can safely say theyve had a good year is north County Dublins Fangclub. Earlier this year, the trio released their second album, Vulture Culture (a record that lies on a knife-edge between tense serenity and all-out frustration, constantly transmitting overtones of disconnection, angst and fury, noted Irish music blog, The Last Mixed Tape), and have since spread the nitty-gritty word far and wide via a series of live shows that fair take the wind out of the sails with ferocity and focus. You can bet your last bitcoin that this show will be cut from the same cloth. TCL

The Drag Nativity Drop Dead Twice, Dublin eventbrite.ie/e/the-drag-nativity-tickets-83612395927

Featuring an all-star cast of drag, comedy and music, The Drag Nativity is a retelling of the story we all played out so well in primary school... but with a queer twist. Among other things, expect Baby Borns, tinfoil stars, pushy parents and lots of singing, all told through the magic of drag. The cast includes Tony Cantwell, Liam Nugent, Marian Mary the 6th and Coco Chanel No. 5. This is a musical parody written and produced by the always fabulous Avoca Reaction. LB

Soda Blonde Whelans, Dublin, also Monday 16th at Whelans, Dublin ticketmaster.ie/soda-blonde-dublin-15-12-2019/event/18005731A1D868FA?fbclid=IwAR3DmGXC_41iAGmWJ9seZIVFidV3TOlmDtkygwW-VzYNrrrQ5JQUiGqCCQo

Going for a double whammy of Christmas gigs, Soda Blonde are wrapping up their 2019 in festive fashion. Made up of former Little Green Cars members Faye ORourke, Adam ORegan, Donagh Seaver OLeary and Dylan Lynch, these are the last nights of their Terrible Hands tour, which saw them play across Ireland and the UK. The Dublin alt-pop group announced the second date due to popular demand, which is a sure sign of what lies ahead of them for 2020. LB

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The best rock and pop concerts in Ireland this week - The Irish Times

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Student-directed one acts to be performed on campus and in town – Scarlet and Black

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Students rehearse for the one acts, directed by students in professor Sandy Moffetts Dramatic Directing class. Photo by Emma Mills.

By Nick Parker parkerni@grinnell.edu

The Grinnell theater department will perform five one-act plays this weekend. The plays are a culmination of a semesters work by five students in professor Sandy Moffetts dramatic directing class. In the span of only four weeks they have selected, rehearsed and are ready to present their individual productions.

The way you learn to direct is by directing, said Moffett. About four weeks ago they chose a one-act play they would like to do, and theyve been working on it ever since. According to Moffett, one-act plays have been a staple of Grinnells theater department since before his arrival on campus in 1971.

Theyve changed a little bit, theyre a little bit more formal, a little bit more produced, he said. Unlike other theater productions throughout the school year, such as the faculty directed main-stage shows, the one-act plays are entirely directed and performed by students. According to Moffett, his involvement with each show has been minimal, which allows his students to create their own, original solutions to the challenges they face.

Caulden Parkel 22, one of Moffetts students, will be directing a show this weekend titled The Music Cure, written by George Bernard Shaw. A comedy that leans heavily on its physical elements, it also requires two of its actors to be highly trained piano players.

Its been a lot but is probably one of the most rewarding things Ive done this semester, said Parkel. You get done at the end of the day, its been a two-hour rehearsal block and you have all this other stuff to do, but youre happy about it because thats the way it is.

Actor Lucy Polyak 23, who is performing in the show of Lizzy Hinman 20, described the variety of stories told in the five one-acts. In addition to Parkels piano-fueled comedy, other shows focus on first dates, theater tropes, marital problems told through the medium of sock puppets. Hinmans show centers on a trio of sisters visiting their ailing father.

In addition to on-campus performances, each play will also be performed in The Loft, a theater space at the Grinnell Arts Center.

I wanted to give them and their cast some experience performing and setting up in different spaces, said Moffet. And I kind of wanted to let the students know what goes on down there and let townspeople know what goes on here.

While a great opportunity for cast and crew to showcase their work outside of the college bubble, the short-notice change from one venue to another will not be easy.

Its good that were out in the community, said Parkel. Its definitely an interesting challenge, because its going to be a really quick turnaround rehearsal-wise and getting into that space less than 24 hours after weve been in a different space.

The one-acts will be a chance for students to see budding directors and actors at work. Unlike the directors, all students of Moffetts class, the actors come from no set background.

Id say theres a huge range, there are people who this is their first show and other people who have more experience, said Polyak.

Saturdays performance will take place in the Wall theatre in Bucksbaum, while Sundays will be held off-campus at the Grinnell Arts Center. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are free. Tickets are available at the box office in Bucksbaum.

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Student-directed one acts to be performed on campus and in town - Scarlet and Black

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12 things to do this weekend | Dec 6th – 8th – RTE.ie

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Updated / Thursday, 5 Dec 2019 15:23

Always looking for fun things to do with my kids that do not involve screens. Unless Man Utd are playing.

More from Your Days Out

It's hard to avoid Shane MacGowan or Maria Carey at this time of year...especiallyif every radio in the house and car have been retuned by your childrento Christmas FM.

The radio station is aiming to raise over 250,000 which will go directly towards Barretstown and you'd have to have a heart of stone not to sing-along.That's what my children keep telling me anyway!

There are also lots of other ways to give back something this Christmas and Leisureplex are hosting a brunchon Sunday with all proceeds going to Children's Health Ireland.

Whatever you do this weekend, have fun!

1)Curry and Hip Hop night at The Bernard Shaw If you need a break from all things Christmas, check out Tara Stewart's brand newCurry and Hip Hop night at The Bernard Shaw. The 2fm presenter, along withMango Dassle, will have you dancing the night away along withtwo very special appearances from Irish rappers Celaviedmai and R3D.

2)Brunch with Santa | Leisureplex Come and meet Santa at Leisureplex on Sunday morning with onehour of playtime, delicious brunch buffet for parents and children and lots of goodies and treats for the little elves. All proceeds will be donated to Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin. Booking essential.

3)RediscoverChristmas Fair The Rediscovery Centre is hosting its own Christmas Fair on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There will be a large selection of stalls with independent suppliers who sell sustainably made products. There will also be plenty of activities for all the family each day with Christmas movies, karaoke, carols, demonstrations and festive food.

4)Elves Workshop at Delta Sensory Gardens The Elves'Workshop at Delta Sensory Gardens in Carlow has lots going on including face painting, arts & crafts, games, a selfie with Santaandentrance to gardens to see the lights display. Book your preferred time slot for Saturday or Sunday in advance.

5)'Twas The Night Before Christmas Inspired by the classic poem, this bilingual show combines storytelling, original live music and puppetry to create a fun and magical festive show for audiences aged 5 and upwards in Pavilion Theatre this Sunday.

6)Forever Young Winterfest The 80s are back in the INEC on Friday & Saturday

Grab your leg warmers, shoulder pads, double denim and scrunchies, because this festival is for grown-ups who want to let loose for a weekend and party like it's 1985 all over again withHoward Jones, Tony Hadley, Nik Kershaw and more.

7)Winter Market The annual Winter Market at The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon this Saturday & Sunday will be full of gorgeous gifts, yummy food and festive cheer. Start off the season by supporting local craft workers, artists and food makers!

8)Howth Tree Lighting & Free Concert A fun festiveevent in Howth for the annual turning on the Christmas Tree lights with support from Main Street Flowers & The Country Market. Live music, entertainment, family fun, carol singing with a special visit from Santa.After Santa'sreturn to the North Pole, you can enjoy a free performance from the Young Dublin Symphonia in Howth Church from 7pm.

9)Christmas @ Playtown Featuring three popularChristmas experiences on Saturday includingParent & Toddler Christmas Experience on Saturday 7th December from 10am 12pm, The Christmas Experience at 12pm and 2pm and The Sensitive Santa Experiencefrom 4pm 6pm. Advance bookings only.

10)Drogheda Christmas Festival On West Street visitors can expect to meet Mr. & Mrs Claus, enjoy a fabulous Christmas Market and stunning light show on St. Peters Church whileon the Quays there will be a fabulous Vintage Carousel, a Christmas Cinema, Live Music & Entertainment, a mini Christmas Village and a spectacular Fireworks display on the last night.

11)Christmas Crooners Now in its 12th record-breaking year, "Christmas Crooners" in the Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday night is jam-packed with festive favourites including the Christmas hits of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Ol Blue Eyes himself- Frank Sinatra.

A fantastic cast of West-End Singersbacked by The Jazz- All-Starsperform over thirty well known Christmas hits. A perfect evening out to get in the Christmas spirit!

12)Hansel & Gretel It's Christmas Panto weekend in Cork where children can enjoy the CBeebies Christmas Show: Hansel and Gretel on Saturday and Sunday in the Gate Cinemas in Cork City, Mallow and Midleton.

Three things to do next week:

1)Skate with Santa Santa Claus is coming to RollerJam for his annual skate! Santa will meetall the kids on the rink, and parents can take photos of their little ones skating with Santa!

There will also be a private meet and greet option available (for a small extra cost), where the child will get to sit and chat with Santaand receive a special gift.

2)Santa's Cottage Santa's Cottage offers a traditional experience, full of Christmas spirit, in a warm and friendly atmospherein Milltown, Galway. Itis a voluntary community project set up to provide a magical, affordable Santa experience and at the same time raise funds for local charities.

3)A Crafty Little Christmas Enjoy a weekend of family fun and crafts next weekend intheNational Museum of Ireland | Country Lifein Mayo.Craft your own Christmas decorations, enjoy choral performances in the galleries, take on a festive challenge with our activity sheets and watch a seasonal classic in our audio-visual theatre.

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12 things to do this weekend | Dec 6th - 8th - RTE.ie

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The Best Books For Kids And Teens This Winter – Iowa Public Radio

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Devin Redmond, Susan Schafer and Sarah Prineas share their top picks of books for both children and young adult readers.

George Bernard Shaw said, "make it a rule to never give a child a book you would not read yourself."

With that in mind, we asked some knowledgeable bookworms to create a recommendations list for the best new books for this winter.

Suggestions blow are provided by Sarah Prineas, who is an author and bookseller at Prairie Lights Bookstore, Devin Redmond, who is a teacher-librarian at Coralville Central Elementary School, and Susan Schafer, who is proprietor of The Book Shoppe in Boone.

We have also curated lists for adult fiction and for nonfiction for both kids and adults.

Small in the City by Sydney Smith

You think its a story about being a small child in a big city. You realize theres another story in the illustrations as you read. Get to the end of this book, and it leaves you at a point where the story is not quite resolved. Its absolutely moving.

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The Fate of Fausto by Oliver Jeffers Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe

It is a funny, quirky, really singular book. There is nothing else out there like this. It's about a little frog named Pokko. And it begins like this the biggest mistake Pokkos parents ever made was giving her a drum."

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The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

This is a book that is about the winter solstice and how darkness comes into the world this time of year and what we do in the face of it. Its all about bringing the light back into the world on the winter solstice.

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Spencer's New Pet by Jessie Sima

This book is about a boy and a balloon animal. One of them pops, and it may not be what you think it is. Its weird.

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Love and the Rocking Chair by Leo and Diane Dillon Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Mr. Scruff by Simon James

This is a very cute and sweet story for the tiny dog lovers in your life. It does have a happy ending and maybe even a surprise ending.

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The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad, illustrated by Hatem Aly

This is a compelling and vibrantly illustrated story about two sisters. The young girl named Faizah admires her oldest sister Asiyas first-day hijab, and how beautiful she looks in her bright blue hijab. However, once Asiya arrives at school, she discovers not everyone is as accepting, and she has to learn how to be strong.

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My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Pea

This is just a fantastic book about a girl who loves her neighborhood that she grew up in. The author writes in the authors note that "its a love letter to both my father, who showed me different ways of experiencing home, and to Corona, California, a city that will always be a part of me."

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Sweet Dreamers by Isabelle Simler

This is a book where animals are beautifully drawn in their sleeping habitat.

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Beastly Puzzles: A Brain-Boggling Animal Guessing Game, by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler

This is kind of like a scientific "I Spy" book. I think kids will really like trying to figure out what each animal is.

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How I Met My Monster by Amanda Noll

Ethan is typical little boy. He'd rather play after bed time than actually go to sleep. One night he is looking under his bed for his truck, and he finds a note that says monster meet here for final test. He is like yeah right, my folks are just trying to get me to stay in bed. Then he sees five pairs of eyes looking out at him.

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Because by Mo Willems, illustrated by Amber Ren

This book is about how small things can have large consequences. The book follows a little girl who has never been to an symphony orchestra. Her aunt takes her because her uncle got sick, and her aunt had extra tickets. So this little girl got to go and experience the first concert shes ever heard, and it changed her life.

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The Bear, The Piano, The Dog and the Fiddle by David Litchfield

This book is about friendship, good times and sad times. Theres a lot of different lessons in here.

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My Footprints by Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran

"My Footprints" is about a little girl whos bullied at school because shes a girl. Shes of Asian descent, and she has two moms. On her way home from school one day, she tries to imagine herself as a bird who gets to fly away. When she gets home, her moms sense she's had a bad day at school. When the little girl storms off to the backyard, they come and talk with her and make big footprints. They imagine a strong grizzley bear, and they make up an animal thats strong, brave, and clever, just like her.

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Thurgood by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Bryan Collier Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreno Played the Piano by Margarita Engle Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Moth by Isabel Thomas Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America by Steve Sheinkin

This is about women who were early pilots. Some of these people do not have good ends. The women in this book are brave and strong and mighty, and theyre awesome. They really had to overcome a lot to get into that pilot seat. One of them built their own plane!

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What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Diana Sukyka Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel

This would be a really good bedtime story book, and you could do it for a couple of nights because it has different chapters. Its about a brave mom, a mouse mother, whose son is sick. To cure him she has to go and get wild honey from the moon. It has a happy ending. This is the kind of book you'll want to examine and look carefully at every picture because theyre detailed, beautiful and colorful.

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Fox and Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier

This book is divided into three short stories. In the first stories, Chick is afraid of sea monsters, pirates and shipwrecks. But when you look at the pictures, they are really only sailing in the smallest of ponds.

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Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Guts is a story about anxiety, and every kid will relate to the anxious feelings the character has. Every adult will relate to those experiences well - the hamster wheel you cant jump off of, the what ifs, and the desire to avoid anything that might cause those anxious feelings.

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Bad Hair Day: Frannie K. Stein by Jim Benton

This is a younger chapter book. Its number eight in a series. She is not a girly girl by any means. She makes all sorts of experiments and all sorts of formulas.

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Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix, illustrated by Anne Lambelet

Theres a lot of plot twist in this book. Its told from the third person point-of-view. Theres all kinds of things about their house and their parents.

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Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers by Anna James, illustrated by Paola Escobar

This is about Tilly Pages. Shes raised by her grandparents. They own a little bookshop in London called Pages & Company. She never really knew her mom; she left when she was a baby. Her dad died before she was born. Tilly is what is called a bookwanderer. She can use the magic in books to go in and out of them and bring the characters out into her world.

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Elizabeth Webster and the Court of Uncommon Pleas by William Lashner Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Reaching for the Moon: An Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Graphic Novels And Comics

The Crossover, Kwame Alexander, pictures by Dawud Anyabwile Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Stargazing by Jen Wang Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Cog by Greg van Eekhout

I think a younger middle grade reader can take this on. Its about a boy, sort of. Cog is short for cognitive development, and the boy is a robot. His programming adapts as he learns; hes built to learn. His mother figure disappears from his life, so he has to basically go on a quest to find her. Its very funny, on one hand, but its also really heartwarming. Its all about home and family and trying to be a real boy.

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Surprise Lily by Sharelle Byars Moranville

This book is about generations of women in this family, and in some ways, inherited trauma and trying to figure out where you fit in a complicated family. Its a really good read for a reader who really likes character. It evokes farm life really well, including Iowa farm life.

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Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend, Eddie, in a bus accident. One day Tristan started reading his best friends journal, and somehow, the journal allows Tristan to see African American folk characters as gods.

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Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

I was really excited to read this, and I gave it a resounding five stars. This book is divided into different chapters, and it tells about different groups of kids from the same school who all walk home. Jason Reynolds is always a poet with his words. I think that all of his characters feel different and unique. They did in this book as well.

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The Rest of the Story by Sara Dessen

Emma is a seventeen-year-old girl who doesnt remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was only twelve. Life for Emma was good and predictable until she has to spend three weeks with her maternal family, who she hasnt seen since she was a little girl, while her dad is in his honeymoon vacation.

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Frankly in Love by David Yoon Find From Your Local Bookseller | Find At Your Local Library | Find On Amazon

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

This is a dark book. It is heavy, and it is young adult. The author, Akwaeke, asks us readers to reexamine our monsters.

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The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

In gaslit Garner County, women and girls are said to harbor powerful magic to lure a man. They believe their skin releases a powerful aphrodisiac that drives men crazy. That is why they are exiled while they released their magic into the wild for their sixteenth year, in order to return purified and ready for marriage.

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Meet the Hyderabad man on whose food reviews gastronomes in the city swear by – The News Minute

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Mohammad Zubair Ali was also the official guide for famous food blogger Trevor James when he came on his food hunt in Hyderabad.

George Bernard Shaw once famously said: There is no sincerer love than the love for food.

Hyderabad man Mohammad Zubair Ali, it would seem, has applied the maxim to his life with utmost devotion.

Running the popular page Hyderabad Food Diaries on Facebook, Zubair is that Hyderabadi who doesnt need an introduction to the food lovers in the city. A food reviewer and blogger, Zubair started reviewing food on social media three years ago, around the same time that he began hisfood blog.

Today, Zubair has two significant awards in his kitty - Best Food Blogger and Best Social Media Influencer in the state. The awards were given by the Telangana Artists Association, which is supported by the state government. Zubair also takes pride in being the only Hyderabadi to have been invited by Trevor James, the famous Cannadian food blogger who runs the YouTube channel, Food Rangers.

The young man has many gastronomical adventures to share, and most importantly, believes that food reviews should never be dishonest.

This I say because food reviews are taken very seriously and as a food lover, I would never want others to have a bad food experience, he laughs.

Zubair laid his hands on the culinary map of Hyderabad when food blogging and food videos on social media were still gaining traction. He'd always loved food but had never nurtured thoughts on documenting cuisines or writing about them.

I was in the second year of my hotel management course when I discovered my penchant for different cuisines. I was working at Hotel Marriott as part of my internship and I saw how beautifully the chefs made exotic dishes with just a few vegetables. Thoughts wandered to all the different cuisines, home-made food and street food that were lying unexplored in my city. And I just wished I could go and try all of them, Zubair recounts.

Soon after completing his course, he landed a job. But he quit after a while because all that Zubair wanted to do then was to explore food.

I started travelling and reading about food as soon as I left my job. I was clueless about how to promote content on social media and wasnt even sure if my idea of starting a blog would help me earn a living. Its during this time that some of my friends, who were on a trip to Hyderabad, asked me on their fourth day in the city about the best biryani they can eat here. I was annoyed because this city is much more than just biryani. So instead of people calling up and asking for recommendations, I decided why not just put them all under a single-roof, Zubair says.

Restaurants in Hyderabad await the spread of word through Zubairs social media pages for customers to flock to their outlets. From food festivals, menu launches and new eateries, Zubair does it all. However, he hasn't gotten into doing cooking videos.

Cooking is something I do not know. My mother doesnt allow me to enter the kitchen. I am banned. But if need be, I can cook for survival, Zubair laughs.

It wasnt and still isnt easy for Zubair to run his social media accounts. He posts content on his Instagram page every single day, because, There is so much competition around me. I visit a restaurant almost every day to keep the page running. You decide to relax for one day and its very easy for your followers to start following another page. To stay relevant, you need to flood your social media pages with content for followers to not get distracted, Zubair says.

Zubair doesnt discriminate among food. From 5-star restaurants to street food, he reviews anything tasty available in the city. Typically, his posts are 1-2 minute videos on the taste of the food item, the ambience of the restaurant and then the price. He tastes a minimum of 4-5 dishes at a restaurant and doesnt prefer fusion or experimental food.

I usually take a night to decide on the content and most importantly, the right pictures to post. Taking great photographs of food is a hard-earned skill. After all, thats why some people are lucky enough to get paid for it. Details like composition,lighting, and styling, will apply regardless of whether you are using a DSLR or a mobile phone, says Zubair.

On Canadian food blogger Trevor James and his wifes visit to the city last year, Zubair was their official guide who took the couple on a food hunt.

Trevor roamed around the city for six days. I took him to Shah Ghouse, Pista House and the street food stalls along Charminar. Trevor was in awe of our cuisine and for me, it was a rare honour, Zubair recalls.

One of Zubairs most watched videos on Facebook is of Kharoof Mahshi, an oven-roasted whole lamb rubbed with seasonings inside and out, stuffed with rice and ground spices, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts and a variety of spices. Costing Rs 8,000 per plate, Zubair calls it one of the most expensive items he has ever tasted till date.

Though there are a large variety of non-vegetarian items available in the city, Hyderabad also has a sizeable variety when it comes to vegetarian food. Very recently I visited Masala Republic in Gachibowli. They had this dish called Boti Roti. I was surprised to see that they are serving meat in a pure vegetarian restaurant. When I enquired, the chef said that it's a mock meat (vegetarian food that tastes like meat) made from soy, textured vegetables and wheat gelatin. It absolutely tasted like mutton, Zubair laughs.

We asked Zubairs for some of his favourite food spots in the city and these are his recommendations:

1.Biryani at Meridian in Panjagutta

2.Pocket friendly place for college-going students: Iron Hill caf in Hi-Tech city

3.For occasional dinners and fine dine: Aish Restaurant at Park Hyderabad

4.Street food: Undisputedly at Charminar

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Love for one’s mother tongue – The Financial Express BD

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Shihab Sarkar | Published: December 07, 2019 20:52:27

The nearly obsessive act would have suited linguistically sensitive nations like the French or the Germans. Both the nations are said to be highly protective about their mother tongues. But in an unusual turn of linguistic developments, it is the English language which also had to experience it. Involving the whole gamut of the language, however, would be an overstatement. But waging a virtual war for retaining a particular usage of English and purity of the language has brought the episode under wide focus. The matter amply speaks of the love and passion a Briton and some like-minded people nurture for their language. Incidents like this has occurred rarely in the history of English, a language used by greats ranging from Shakespeare, Milton, Bernard Shaw, the Romantics to TS Eliot, DH Lawrence to Dylan Thomas and many others.

It was Mathew Arnold who could have sparked a row over incorrect use of an English phrase or idiom. Paradoxically, the English-lovers had to wait for nearly two centuries to encounter such a debate in the second decade of the 21st century. In the meantime, the language in Britain has undergone many changes in use. Thanks to the imperial power's colonisation of vast swathes of the world, the influences of the colonies' languages have left their mark on English. Apart from words, phrases and syntaxes, lots of grammatical rules have been found bent to suit languages used in the colonised lands.

The protagonist of the latest saga of the English language is a consummately groomed Englishman. He won't compromise on even any negligible irregularity in the use of English. He is John Richards, 96, a retired British journalist. Outwardly, Richards appears to have conceded defeat in his fight to preserve the correct use of the sign of apostrophe. A digressive question pops up. Has Richards been really defeated? Lots of English-knowing and speaking people will respond with an emphatic 'No'. It's because he has not given up on his fight. The uncompromising journalist's closing down the campaign to save the pure form of apostrophe was, undoubtedly, a heroic step. It showed the world that in what circumstances Richards had to withdraw from a fight against "ignorance and laziness".

According to the media, the founder of the platform Apostrophe Protection Society, starting in 2001 --- the retired journalist, and his comrades had been engaged in an all-out fight to save the "much abused punctuation mark of apostrophe". In a span of a quarter of his career as a 'copy editor', the elderly journalist found to his dismay the practice of freestyle and wrong use of the punctuation by the press people. Some from his community might dub him 'fixated'. But Richards has discovered the error among the general people, too. None could blame him if he had expressed doubt about the future of English, much touted as the global lingua franca.

The ironical aspect of the episode is when Richards was about to retire from journalism, he was said to have been "spotting the same linguistic error in daily life". It prompted him to decide to "take action". With a feeling of hopelessness and disillusionment, he identified apostrophe as an endangered species which needed protection. But later, disillusioned and shattered, he closed down his Society instead.

The use of apostrophe (') is not at all tricky. It mainly denotes possession, namely, Selim's book, the rich nations' club etc. It is also used in omission of letters or numbers. Examples --- can't (cannot), they're (they are); or 16 Dec, `71, 21st Feb, `52 etc. Given the instances of sheer carelessness in the use of a rule of English, how can we justify the atrocious spellings used in Bangla sentences? They're simply an affront to the spirit of the 1952 Language Movement.

shihabskr@ymail.com

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The secret of happiness is doing something you hate – Stuff.co.nz

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JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER

Cycling in the rain is one way to make you appreciate life anew.

A few weeks ago I did something I would never normally do: I cycled back from work in a torrential downpour... on purpose. I could have jumped on a bus, but instead, I decided to offer myself up to nature's wrath via a bone-rattling rental bike. And yes, it was horrible, the needle-sharp rain pricking my cheeks, a relentless horizontal gale turning exposed extremities to ice; with every passing bus a tidal wave of brown gutter water dousing me in misery. By the time I arrived home, frozen to the core, I felt like bursting into tears. In a way I wish I had, because it would have made what followed even more delicious.

The misery I had just endured was all part of a plan to inject some much-needed perspective into my relatively trouble-free existence. Sure, I have the usual 21st century anxieties mortgage repayments, what I'm going to have for dinner, the futility of existence but compared with the hardship and struggle that plagued previous generations, I'm like a pampered poodle. Or, as they say in northern England:"I don't know I'm born."

And therein lies the problem and the reason for my masochistic cycle ride: when you "don't know you're born", you don't know you're alive. In theory we should be exceedingly grateful that many of us no longer have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or whether we might freeze to death through lack of heat, but it is only by experiencing and overcoming such hardships that we are able to fully appreciate the good stuff.

When our needs are constantly being met, we lose sight of who we are and become over-entitled, grumpy and dissatisfied. We forget that overcoming obstacles not only gives life purpose and meaning, but also offers us precious snippets of fulfilment with each battle won. Despite our fragility, we humans are remarkably resilient creatures but every now and then we need to be reminded of that, or we become complacent. It may be a clichebut we really do have to experience darkness in order to appreciate light.

The Greek philosopher Epicurus taught us that real pleasure comes not from acquisition but from the removal of pain and I can certainly attest to that. Who knew that the removal of sopping socks could elicit such intense pleasure or that a simple hot shower could feel like a sousing from God? And I can't begin to describe the bliss of wrapping myself in a warm dressing gown, glass of whisky in hand, as my frozen extremities tingled back to life.

None of these little shudders of joy would have been possible without having first put myself through the grinder. So now, every day, I try to throw myself in the way of some unpleasantness or other so that I might emerge on the other side smiling. I like to think that a gratification deferred is a gratification earned.

Take nature for instance. Although I adore the natural world, I was becoming blaseto her beauty; I'd stopped noticing the majesty of trees, the wonder of birdsong, the lilting landscape. Familiarity hadn't bred contempt exactly, but it had certainly bred indifference.

Last weekend, before heading to the country for my weekly hike, I spent the afternoon in a grotty part of my home city,surrounded by bleak industrial estates and grey concrete tower blocks; when I did finally make it back to nature the following morning everything appeared more vivid the greens were greener, the trees more fantastical and the birdsong sweeter. Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Stephen Blumenthal understands the importance of my "forced perspective". He sees a lot of depression and anxiety, especially in men, and believes that material and sensory abundance can have a numbing effect on the human psyche.

"When we no longer have to struggle for things, we lose motivation and our capacity for joy. Human beings need hurdles to overcome in order to feel renewed," he tells me. It is also worth remembering George Bernard Shaw's advice to "choose the line of greatest advantage instead of yielding in the direction of least resistance".

I'm not suggesting masochism as a road to nirvana, but there are lots of little adjustments we can make to roughen things up a bit, just enough so that we don't become numb to life's little elations.

My own light bulb moment came a few months ago when I realised how little I was enjoying food, due to a long period of overindulgence and under-appreciation, which prompted me to change my habits.

These days many of us eat simply out of boredom, or because we're used to it: food is so plentiful that mealtimes are often just a way to break up the monotony of the day. When was the last time you felt gut-gnawingly hungry? Most of us plough through three meals a day with plenty of snacking time in between, meaning we simply don't have time to feel hunger, which is a shame because food tastes so much more delicious when you deprive yourself a little.

I used to be in such a hurry to get through mealtimes I'd often forget to chew, which meant I missed out on the most pleasurable part of eating. But not any more. Once or twice a week I purposely skip breakfast or lunch or both, not because I've signed up to some faddy diet, but because it makes dinner so much tastier.

I actually look forward to mealtimes now rather than just going through the motions. You could even take it further by fasting once a week and drastically reducing portion size. I guarantee your enjoyment of even the humblest of food will increase dramatically.

Epicurus urged moderation for the maximisation of pleasure, understanding that once you strip away all the excess guff, our needs are remarkably modest pleasure is finite, after all. And if you don't believe me, try an all-you-can-eat restaurant and see how it makes you feel.

The Telegraph, London

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December 8th, 2019 at 12:51 am

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A fond farewell to The Bernard Shaw as the Portobello pub finally shuts its doors – Dublin Live

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So, after 13 years, its farewell to The Bernard Shaw.

The much-loved Portobello pub will close its doors for good on Sunday 3rd November after a protracted struggle with An Bord Pleanla and local residents over the noise generated by its beer garden.

Added to the mix has been the rate of development in the local area. Planners stated that for the Shaw to continue in its current form would be inconsistent with the emerging pattern of development in the vicinity , specifically mentioning the imposing new block that has risen like a villains lair opposite the pub. Stand in the beer garden, look up and youll see the skyline bristling with cranes as new structures go up all around it.

The venues owners Bodytonic have remained tight-lipped over the precise reason for the closure financial viability doesnt seem to be an issue, as the Irish Times reported that Bernard Shaw Taverns Limited made a 622,416 profit in 2018 but this part of Dublin has turned into something of a hostile environment for a bohemian drinking spot.

Sunday will be a sad day, and theres no doubt that The Bernard Shaw will leave a colossal hole in Portobellos nightlife, and in its many regulars lives. The place never looked like much from the outside much as they tried to give it some jaunty paint jobs and it always appeared to be on the brink of collapse inside; all wobbly walls, too-narrow alleyways, steps where you dont expect them and some of the dodgiest toilets south of Busras.

But what the Shaw did have was charm and easygoing cool. It looked the way it did because it wasnt making an attempt to impress anyone, or fit in with the upwardly mobile venues around it. It was a reflection of many of the people that hung out there: scruffy but interesting.

Music was always a huge part of the place, from the permanent soundtrack of low-level house played throughout the day to new and established DJs from Thursday to Sunday nights. Im lucky to have been able to DJ there several times, the first place in Dublin that would have me after I moved here in 2016.

Then there were the bands that crammed into the tiny downstairs bar or the top-tier touring acts that would make the walls sweat on special occasions. Where else would you be likely to find legendary DJs like Andrew Weatherall, Optimo or Motor City Drum Ensemble playing in a room holding no more than 60 people?

There have been flea markets, art exhibitions, gin festivals, poetry and spoken word, graffiti jams, the Big Blue Bus and so much more. It was a haven for activism International Womens Day, Dublin Pride, Repeal The Eighth and other causes found a home there. And it was the ultimate spot for post-work Friday pints or a Sunday recovery session.

The Shaw was often dismissed as a hipster hangout not least by councillor Mannix Flynn, an advocate for local residents but for a generation of Dubs and visitors from around the country it felt like home.

Bodytonic have now bought the former Porterhouse Whitworth pub beside the Royal Canal, on the boundary of Phibsborough and Glasnevin, and announced plans to move the Shaw lock, stock and barrel as far as possible to the Northside.

Thats an exciting prospect, and an apparent lack of residents within earshot should make it a sustainable location for generations to come.

But the fact remains that the Shaw as we know it is dead. Long live the Shaw.

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Photo Coverage: Project Shaw Presents ARMS AND THE MAN – Broadway World

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Gingold Theatrical Group continues the 14th Season of Project Shaw, Art as Activism: A Theatrical Survival Guide, a special series of evenings of plays that embrace human rights and free speech.

All of GTG's programming, inspired by the works of George Bernard Shaw, are designed to provoke peaceful discussion and activism.

"We get so many requests for Arms and the Man it's already selling out! It's a superbly crafted romantic comedy from top to bottom with every strongly delineated character given a very specific point of view. It's Shaw, so big thoughts and issues are explored, but always in a human and accessible way, with it all coming together in a streamlined and inevitable balance of adventure and romance. For this event we're honored to partner with Evan Yionoulis," said David Staller.

Arms and the Man, one of Shaw's most enduringly popular comedies, is on just about everybody's 'Favorite Shaw' list. The plot follows a hunted soldier who, seeking refuge in a young lady's boudoir, starts in motion a series of highly engaging and unlikely comedic events. His unusual philosophies about love, war and life in general open up a world of thought she'd never previously entertained-certainly not with her dashing war-hero fiance who also arrives unexpectedly. This early work of Shaw's is remarkably pithy.

Photo Credit: Stephen Brown-Fried

Alison Fraser and Bradford Cover

Max Gordon Moore

Arnie Burton and Talene Monahon

Bradford Cover and Amelia Pedlow

Evan Yionoulis and David Staller

Evan Yionoulis Talene Monahon, Alison Fraser ad Amelia Pedlow

Evan Yionoulis Talene Monahon, Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Max Gordon Moore, Arnie Burton, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

Evan Yionoulis Talene Monahon, Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Arnie Burton, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

David Staller, Kate Mandracchia and Arysbells Figueredo join with Evan Yionoulis Talene Monahon, Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Max Gordon Moore, Arnie Burton, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

Arysbells Figueredo and Kate Mandracchia join with Evan Yionoulis Talene Monahon, Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Max Gordon Moore, Arnie Burton, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

Alison Fraser and Max Gordon Moore

Amelia Pedlow and Ben Davis

Amelia Pedlow and Ben Davis

Amelia Pedlow and Max Gordon Moore

Amelia Pedlow and Max Gordon Moore

Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Max Gordon Moore, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

Alison Fraser, Amelia Pedlow, Max Gordon Moore, Bradford Cover and Ben Davis

Arnie Burton

Arnie Burton

Talene Monahon and Alison Fraser

Ben Davis and Talene Monahon

Alison Fraser, Talene Monahon Amelia Pedlow, Evan Yionoulis, Max Gordon Moore, Ben Davis, Bradford Cover and Arnie Burton

Ben Davis, Evan Yionoulis and Max Gordon Moore

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Review: Otello from Washington National Opera – DC Theatre Scene

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Washington National Opera opened its 2019-20 season at the Kennedy Center on Saturday night with a performance of Giuseppe Verdis Otello signaling that the company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and General Director Timothy OLeary, goes from strength to strength as it embarks upon its 64th season.

Verdi esteemed no writer more highly than Shakespeare, and the extent of the bards influence upon the composer extends well beyond the three operas (Macbeth, Otello, and Falstaff) that are directly based on Shakespeare plays. It is no surprise, therefore, that Verdi couldnt resist an invitation from his publisher to collaborate with the young librettist, Arrigo Boito, on an opera based on Othelloeven if it meant interrupting a comfortable retirement. The overtly operatic qualities of Shakespeares play (George Bernard Shaw went so far as to refer to the source work as a play written by Shakespeare in the style of Italian opera) are maximized by Boito and Verdi in what is widely regarded as one of the crowning glories of Verdis storied career.

The success of any production of this opera rests largely upon the shoulders of the three singers portraying Otello, Iago, and Desdemonaeach of them given music of exceptional range that demands great versatility from the artists. Desdemona is the most conventionally Italianate of these characters, with music in which Verdi himself said that the melodic line never ceases from beginning to end.

But it is not quite so simple, as Verdi still demands very different types of singing from his female leadfrom the gentle lyricism of Acts I and IV to the demanding dramatic work of Act III. The soprano Leah Crocetto negotiated these shifts with admirable facility and shone most brilliantly in the wrenching Act III scene with Otello where the full power of her clarion upper register reflected her increasing desperation and her impassioned but ultimately futile declarations of innocence. While one might have hoped for a more understated rendering of the Willow Song, Crocettos stunning Ave Maria in Act IV (ably supported with responsive playing from the WNO Orchestra string section) was a masterclass in subtlety and control and proved to be a true showstopperthe only moment in Saturdays performance when the continuous flow of Verdis music was interrupted by audience applause.

Iago is at the other extremea character who infrequently sings in the true sense of the word but, as Verdi described it, more often declaims in a constantly shifting style matching his protean capacity for duplicity and manipulation. In his WNO debut, the baritone George Gagnidze was a commanding presence both musically and dramatically, whose performance helps one understand why Verdi and Boito initially planned to call their opera Iago. From the frantic energy of the Act I drinking song, to his shattering interpretation of the iconic Credo, to the calculated guile of his conversations with Otello, Gagnidze was everything that one could have hoped for in this most complex of Shakespearean villains.

Otello closes November 16, 2019. Details and tickets

The music of the title character makes the most varied demands upon the singerrequiring both the easy lyricism of a bel canto lover in the fleeting moments of tenderness with Desdemona and the stentorian tones of a warrior hero. The tenor Russell Thomas has steely, ringing high notes in abundance, and, while never actually losing control of his voice, he went about as far as he could in an effort to suggest the extent of Otellos undoing at the hands of Iago. The approach was risky, bold, and largely successful. Thomass depiction of Otellos emotional outbursts came across as uniformly intense, but, with more nuance and variety, he might have traced a more progressive journey from suspicion to madness.

Among the smaller roles, the tenor Zach Borichevsky had a strong turn as Cassio, and the mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel brought pathos and power to the role of Emilia, stepping out of the shadows to command the stage in the final moments of Act IV.

The Italian conductor Daniele Callegari, returning to WNO for the first time since leading Un Ballo in Maschera in 2010, maintained a taut sense of pacing throughout the evening while allowing adequate breathing space for the operas relatively few moments of lyrical repose. Revelling in the infinite colors of Verdis orchestration, Callegari elicited sensitive and detailed playing from the WNO Orchestra with especially fine contributions from the winds and brass. The WNO Chorus, prepared by Chorus Master Stephen Gathman, rose to the considerable challenges of the score, singing with fine diction and rhythmic energy.

The staging, a co-production of English National Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and the Teatro Real Madrid, directed by David Alden, paled in comparison with the musical strengths of the production. With a single large set piece framing both interior and exterior scenes in and around a dilapidated structure washed in gray, the staging was both visually bland and, at times, logically inconsistent.

The bonfire kindled outside the castle in Act I was re-ignited in Act IV, but now in Desdemonas bedchambera sparsely furnished space with no bed. The fire in Acts I and IV was one of the more graceful and effective lighting choices in a production otherwise bathed in whitish-gray hues, the monotony of which further blurred the distinction between interior and exterior spaces. Costumes and props were vaguely suggestive of the first quarter of the 20th century, but details were imprecise. The use of an icon of the Madonna as a symbol of Otellos idealized vision of Desdemonaplaced next to her in Act II, desperately clutched by Otello at the beginning of Act III, then lifted over his head as he is poised to strike Desdemona, then finally used as a dartboard by Cassiowas a clumsy and gratuitous choice.

In her welcome letter to the audience, Zambello noted that it had long been her wish to bring Otello to WNO but that she waited to line up all of the right elements to present the work here in DC. Overall, Saturday nights production suggested that Zambellos patience has paid offas she has indeed brought together many, if perhaps not all, of the pieces to do justice to Verdi and Boitos masterful treatment of Shakespeare.

Otello, an opera in four acts. Music by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito. Based on the play by William Shakespeare. Conductor: Daniele Callegari. Director: David Alden. Washington National Opera Orchestra, Washington National Opera Chorus, Washington National Opera Childrens Chorus. Cast:Leah Crocetto (Desdemona), Russell Thomas (Othello), Iago (George Gagnidze), Deborah Nansteel (Emilia), Zach Borichevsky (Cassio), Alexander McKissick (Roderigo), Hunter Enoch (Montano/Herald), Wei Wu (Lodovico), Claudia Agero, Mario (Solo Dancer).Set and Costume Designer: Jon Morrell. Lighting Designer: Andrew Cutbush. Choreographer: Maxine Braham. Fight Coordinator: Casey Kaleba. Cover Conductor & Diction Coach: Giovanni Reggioli. Assistant Conductors: Michael Baitzer & Matthew Lobaugh. Chorus Master: Steven Gathman. Assistant Director: David Toro. Stage Manager: Lynn Krynicki. Produced by Washington National Opera .Reviewed by Richard Giarusso.

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