The Arts Buzz: A blog about Angel Band at Trinity, Serafin String Quartet, Yuletide at Winterthur, A Brandywine Christmas and a whole lot of Scrooges
Big News in Local Music
If you thought the music of Angel Band was heavenly, you couldn’t ask to see them perform in a more heavenly venue than Trinity Episcopal Church in Wilmington on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The angels—Nancy Josephson, Aly Paige and Kathleen Weber—will perform as part of Trinity’s arts and culture series. Hear old Angel favorites, as well as new ones from their latest CD, “Shoot the Moon!” Admission is free. For more, visit angelband.net. You’ll enjoy the videos, we promise.
On the Subject of Angels…
The Serafin are an order of angels, and Serafin String Quartet is an order of magnitude better than many (though it takes its name from a master violin maker, Sanctus Serafin). The quartet’s big news: a series of three Collage Concerts at World Cafe Live at The Queen. The concerts are one-hour performances of short pieces by various composers, with talks by the musicians. We’re ahead of the game, we know, but we want you to have time to schedule these Sunday events. The slate is “String Quartet Time Machine—Haydn to Higdon,” featuring works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Ravel, Martinu and Higdon on Dec. 16; “Romp Through Romanticism,” featuring works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Ravel and Dvorák on Feb. 5; and “An American Tapestry,” featuring works by Dvorák, Barber, Still, Gershwin and Higdon on March 11. “Serafin String Quartet is pleased to be presented by LiveConnection in Wilmington’s newest performance venue, World Cafe Live at the Queen,” says Serafin violinist Kate Ransom. “It is one of the rare places that is actively and effectively making connections for listeners who want to experience different kinds of music in different ways.” Whether you’re new to traditional music or a longtime aficionado, you’ll enjoy. All concerts begin at noon. Go early for brunch, which begins at 11 a.m. For more: 994-1400, or queen.worldcafelive.com.
The Most Wonderful Time of Year
Yuletide at Winterthur—that tribute to old-fashioned Christmases from Colonial times through World War II—opened last week. Tour the former home of famed collector Henry Francis du Pont, and see a world-class display of decorative arts. The highlight this year is a recreation of a traditional Twelfth Night ball in the Powell and Walnut rooms, which are included on the tour for the first time this year. The name refers to the 12-day break American colonists took from farm chores. The 12 days eventually yielded to a holiday oriented toward children and charity, one that included a Christmas tree. Yuletide at Winterthur will display a lavishly decorated Victorian-era tree, along with dozens of toys and a colorful “spider’s web” of ribbons that children followed to collect their gifts. There’s more, of course—room after room decorated in the fashion of its time—and it’s a sight to see. Visit through Jan. 8. For reservations, call (800) 448-3883. And don’t forget to visit winterthur.org.
It’s time for A Brandywine Christmas at Brandywine River Museum, a don’t-miss holiday activity. New this year: a dollhouse once owned by Ann Wyeth McCoy, which was crafted and furnished by hand by members of the Wyeth family, including her brother Andrew Wyeth. A reproduction of N.C. Wyeth's “Old Kris” even hangs above the mantel. At more than 9 feet high, it’s scaled for dolls up to 2 feet tall, and it will be filled with Mrs. McCoy’s dolls, which she collected passionately throughout her life and dressed in clothing of her own design. Don’t miss the special chance to see this miniature world. As ever during A Brandywine Christmas, you can watch the cars of an O-gauge model railroad running on more than 2,000 feet of track, and don’t forget the thousands of “critter” ornaments made from natural materials by volunteers of the Brandywine Conservancy. The holiday classic is on display starting Fri., Nov. 25, till Jan. 8. For more: (610) 388-2700 and brandywinemuseum.org.
A Cavalcade of “Christmas Carols”—Kinda
The New Candlelight Theatre presents a modern retelling of “A Christmas Carol” through Dec. 23. It goes like this: Unhappy stage director Devlin Powers is on the verge of closing his theater days before his Christmas show opens, when he's visited by a parade of Broadway characters past, present and future, who help Powers regain his joy for the season. You’ll hear tunes such as “It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” “Baby It's Cold Outside” and “We Need A Little Christmas.” Call 475-2313, or visit nctstage.org.
Delaware Children’s Theatre presents “Scrooge: The Musical” at its historic playhouse through Dec. 18. It’s the same story as the classic Charles Dickens tale, but with music. Don’t miss it. Call 655-1014, or visit dechildrenstheatre.org.
In another twist, “Humbug” is the story of Eleanor Scrooge, a ruthless Wall Street exec who, locked in her office on a snowy Christmas Eve while finishing a corporate-takeover proposal, is visited by three "advisors.” See it by Milford’s Second Street Players Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4. Call 422-0220.
Let’s not leave out Clear Space, which will present, “Scrooge,” its own musical version of the holiday, starring Doug Yetter in his third turn in the title role. It runs nov. 25-Dec. 1 at the theater in Rehoboth Beach. Call 227-7303 for more.
No Dissin’ Dickens
Catch “Noises Off” by UD’s Resident Ensemble Players through Dec. 11. Watch a woefully inept theatre troupe—or, should we say, watch the brilliant REP portray a woefully inept troupe—as it attempts to perform a sex comedy called ‘Nothing On.’ Says REP, this is a “madcap melee of theatrical mishaps that will have you grasping your sides and gasping for air!” We’re sure. Call 831-2204, or visit rep.udel.edu.