Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Hey, Fred!" 02/09/15-02/15/15 A Biased and Idiosyncratic Top Five is the most popular feature (within the very relative confines of that word as it relates to this). A look at things I want to shine some light on - not everything I'm going to do, and not quite (as the old version was) everything I'd do if money and time were no object.

These are my top 5 suggestions for the week in question - named for my great pal Fred Pfening and named long before it was born, by A., who suggested "Rick's going to have a blog called 'Hey, Fred! Here's what's coming to town...' - whatever media strike my fancy. It could be all theater one week, it could be all films or all readings or all gallery shows, but most weeks will include some if not mostly music - I hope to spark some conversations and get people excited about what I'm excited for. If you read this, let me know what would make this more useful to you. As well, if you get any value out of this, please send me links/invite me on Facebook/send up a carrier pigeon to let me know about your events.

 Visual Art

Mobile Photo Now. Columbus Museum Art, 480 E Broad St. This opened last week but it definitely deserves some additional shine. The CMA over the last number of years has really amped up its photography holdings and particularly has done as good a job of taking a curatorial eye to the current flood of individual photography in the smartphone age as any institution I can name, largely through the work and support of Jennifer Poleon. Mobile Photo Now is their biggest, widest-ranging take on this phenomenon yet, including photographers from over 40 countries. Check out this interview with Jennifer Poleon about Mobile Photo Now:
Runs Through March 22nd. 

Dark Love: Fables and Foibles.  The Vanderelli Room, 218 McDowell St. This gallery show purports to cover the ugly side of love and how that's suffused children's stories, fables and fairy tales, through interpretations by 20 local artists. A source of inspiration that seems to never run dry and should be a nicely acidic counterpoint to the other Valentine's Day-themed shows around. Opens on February 13th at 7:00pm.


Master Class by Terrence McNally presented by CatCo in association with Opera Columbus. Studio One, Riffe Center, 77 S High St. One of the finest American playwrights of the last 40 years, Highlights of McNally's work includes the heartbreaking Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, the groundbreaking mainstream gay comedy Love! Valour! Compassion!, and the books of musical adaptations of novels like Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman. My favorite has always been Master Class, a fictionalized look at the great Maria Callas in decline, teaching a class at Columbia University and trying to hold her life together. I don't claim to be any more than a dilettante about opera but one of those budget compilations of Callas's arias was my biggest gateway drug and this heartbreaking, snarling play also sent me down that road. Interview with Terrence McNally about Master Class: Opens on February 11th and runs through March 1st. For tickets and more information, please visit CatCo.


February 10: Joy. The Tree Bar, 887 Chambers Rd.  A rare heavy touring show through the intimate confines of the Tree Bar. Joy, signed to heavy connoisseurs Tee Pee Records, are one of the finest exemplars of the current trend of hard psychedelia without ever sacrificing the big, sensual groove. Pittsburgh's Carousel open in a similar vein but with a harder line in classic rock like Thin Lizzy and Motorhead. Openers Mama and High Definitions open. If this is your kind of thing, expect this show to make the walls shake in that little room. Starts at 9:00pm. $5 cover.

February 14: Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio. Wexner Center, 1871 N High St. Melissa Aldana, Chliean born and NYC based, is on a meteoric rise as one of the most promising tenor sax players working today. A Thelonious Monk award winner in 2013, she released a self-titled record with the band she's bringing to the Wexner Center on Concord last year to astonishing reviews. Aldana combines a lyrical tone with a hard-edged rhythmic authority, walking the line between lush and bracing. It's a gorgeous, burnished, classic sound and a chance to get in on the ground floor of someone we'll all be hearing about for a long time. Starts at 8:00pm. $20 Tickets available on the Wexner Center website.

Still Running Recommendations


Romance Romance by Barry Harman and Keith Herrmann presented by Red Herring Theatre. Riffe Center Studio 2 Theater, 77 S High St. Red Herring haven't made a bad show in the time since their return. Regular (ha!) readers of my blog will remember my raves about Thicker than Water and Assassins. This show assembles a dream team on stage and backstage including director John Dranschak, musical director Pam Welsh-Huggins, and stars Nick Lingnofski and Kate Lingnofski. I wrote about this for Columbus Underground and I'm happy to report this continues the streak of terrific work with two of the best performances I've ever seen in a musical. Runs 8:00pm Thursday through Saturday February 5-February 14th with 2:00pm matinee shows on Sunday February 8 and Saturday February 14. $20 tickets in advance by phone, more information at


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