Thursday, March 5, 2015

Check out the Chorale Scene Across All Three Counties (VIDEO)

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The Delaware Division of the Arts is dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. 

Take a whirlwind tour of the thriving community chorale scene in all three counties in Delaware, with behind-the-scenes visits to the Delaware Choral Society, Rainbow Chorale, and the Southern Delaware Chorale


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bootless Stageworks' "Bug" is a Creepy-Crawly Experience!

Melissa Kearney, Geremy Webne-Berhman,
David Hastings and Heather Ferrel in Bug.
I LOVE Tracy Letts! He’s a masterful playwright who’s biting humor peeks through the dark depths of his plays. His psychological thriller, Bug is quite an experience. The play is an engrossing piece of theater -- questioning how far someone will believe in another person’s distorted reality, because of the need to connect with another human.

Director and Scenic Designer Rosanne DellAversano has created a grim environment, which is needed for this ominous tale. Her vision keeps the audience engaged and questioning what will happen next.

Set in a Motel 6-like room in Oklahoma, where a honky-tonk waitress, Agnes White (Heather Ferrel) lives, drinks and does drugs with her friend, Roni (Melissa Kearney), and hides from her abusive ex-husband (David Hastings) who has recently been released from jail. One day Roni visits Agnes and brings a man, Peter (Geremy Webne-Berhman), whom she has recently met. While Roni leaves, Peter stays and begins a fast and tumultuous relationship with Agnes.

Peter has a questionable past. He believes the military has contaminated his body and is now conspiring against him. He draws the lonely and vulnerable Agnes into his twisted world. His reality becomes an escape for Agnes, who is trying to forget her melancholy past and connect emotionally and physically with a new man. 

Ms. Ferrel and Mr. Webne-Berhman are compelling as Agnes and Peter. She evokes great sadness and despair, while he evokes madness and fear; think Norman Bates, appearing innocent, but truly menacing. Mr. Webne-Berhman’s glaring eyes easily make the skin crawl -- like feeling a bug walking up your arm. However, it is hard to understand him towards the end of the play, due to his lisp caused by his character’s self-induced mouth-infliction.

Bug is not for the faint of heart, but it is a unique play that will ignite great conversation after leaving the theater. Bug runs through March 14, at St. Stephen’s (1301 Broom Street, Wilmington). 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Angela Sheik Rocks the Queen

This post appears courtesy of IN Wilmington's blog - view the original post here...

By Guest Blogger, Ken Grant

Ken Grant has worked in Delaware media, politics, and marketing for 25 years. He and his Lovely Bride enjoy Wilmington's arts and culture scene as much as they can.

If the only thing Angela Sheik had to offer was her vocal range, it would be worth going to her show.

If the only thing Angela Sheik had to offer was her quirky-yet-profound songwriting style, it would be enough to draw an audience.

But, when you add in the talent of playing multiple instruments, both performing and engineering magical soundscapes while engaging the audience with fun asides and deep revelations, then you find words like “genius” and “brilliant” woefully inadequate to describe the talent of Angela Sheik...

Sheik started her concert Saturday evening at World Cafe Live at the Queen without introduction, fanfare, or words. While the overflowing crowd was caught up in conversation, Sheik made adjustments to her instruments and microphones, then started tapping her microphone in rhythm, laying down the first track of what was soon to become a multi-layered musical piece that silenced the crowd as they realized an alchemist was on stage adding ingredients to a formula that transformed seemingly simple sounds into auditory gold.

The last time Sheik played material from her latest project before a Wilmington crowd, she did so with the help of more than a dozen other musicians. This time she was trying to produce the same sounds solo – playing all of the instruments and feeding them through her loop machine, then adding her rich vocals.

The question is, how many instruments does Angela Sheik use in a performance like this? And the answer depends on your definition of instrument. Keyboard, accordion, xylophone, flute, auto harp, triangle, theremin – yes, those count. But what about the tapping on the microphone that sounds like a bass drum? What about the loop machine? Is that an instrument? What about when all of the music is fed through the theremin? Does it become a different instrument? And what about the point where Sheik instructs the audience to get out their smart phones, go to, scroll down the right column and click on the red box that says “play along” so they can pick a track to play while she sings “Evening Calls”? Does each phone count as an instrument?

Sheik's music explores a variety of themes, from love and loss to the struggle with ego – all in a way that forces the listener to engage as more of a participant rather than passively listening. Sheik takes the audience to new and different places throughout her show – and the audience seems to enjoy every turn and discovery.