The heavenly Serafin String Quartet, French film at Theatre N, "Municipalia" at DCCA and Katharine Pyle at Delaware Art Museum




Speaking French

No one makes films quite like the French. For proof, attend Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Theatre N at Nemours March 9-11. The four films are “The Screen Illusion,” “The Last Screening,” “The Well-Digger's Daughter” and “Smuggler's Songs” (all in French, of course, with English subtitles). “Smuggler’s” is based on the life of 18th-century folk hero and bandit Louis Mandrin and his the efforts of his followers to distribute his songs and stories in the build-up to the French Revolution. You’ll find the other three just as compelling. 571-4699, theatren.org

 

 

A Little Bit of Heaven

Those who like chamber music and strings should make for World Cafe Live at The Queen on March 11 for another Collage Concert by the Serafin String Quartet. Hear the members perform, and listen to their insightful remarks about the music and composers in an intimate setting like no other. The theme of this concert, the last in the series, is An American Tapestry. It features works by Dvorak, Barber, Still, Gershwin and Jennifer Higdon. Curious, but can’t make the performance? Buy the Serafins’ debut CD at serfinaquartet.org. 994-1400, queen.worldcafelive.com

The Best in Baroque

Don’t miss the incomparable Brandywine Baroque when it presents “Sally & Thomas” on March 10. Composed by Thomas Arne: A Dramatic Pastoral Thomas & Sally, or The Sailor’s Return, tells of Sally’s love for Thomas, who has gone to sea, and the Squire’s unrequited love for Sally. The concert featurs guest sopranos Laura Heimes and Erin Lippard and tenors Tony Boutté and Steven Wilson. Before the performance, hear John Burkhalter speak about “Arne's Progress or The London Musical Theatre.” The concert takes place at The Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Rehoboth Beach. 877-594-4546,brandywinebaroque.org

More Strings

On March 13 The Copeland String Quartet will lecture and perform in the Wesley College Chapel. The quartet is comprised of four players from Delaware Symphony Orchestra: violinists Eliezer Gutman and Thomas Jackson, violin, violist Nina Cottman and cellist Mark Ward. You never know what they’ll play, but you can rest assured, it will be outstanding. copelandstringquartet.com

One for the Kids

On March 11, The Kennett Symphony of Chester County will present a free children’s concert, “Green Eggs and Ham,” at the Emilie K. Asplundh Hall of West Chester University. The musical is adapted from the Dr. Seuss classic by composer Robert Kapilow. It will by preceded by two other pieces: Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” and Strauss’s “Pizzicato Polka.” All is directed by Mary Woodmansee Green. Kids will also see a demonstration of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Afterward, the symphony will open its popular instrument petting zoo. It’s a real treat for all ages—and it’s free. (610) 444-6363, kennettsymphony.org

The New 40?

Those who have yet to pass the milestone and those who left it behind long ago will get a charge out of “Four Sides of Forty.” Four comedians examine different experiences of the age. Eric McMahon, father of three, riffs on 20 years of marriage. Lenny Marcus talks about dating in the Big Apple. Al Ducharme is trying to adjust to his new marriage after years of carefree bachelorhood. And Patty Rosborough is more than happy to tell you about her ex. They’ll all have you rolling in the aisles. See them at The Schwartz Center for the Arts on March 16. 678- 5152, schwartzcenter.com

The Shows Go On

You think of Neil Simon as a funny man, and he is, but sometimes with a serious bent. See it in “The Gingerbread Lady,” as presented by The Chapel Street Players through March 10. The play tells the tale of singer Evy Meara, who, ending 10 weeks at a rehab center, deals with well-intended but flawed loved ones: her vain best friend, a struggling actor and her troubled daughter and despicable ex, who makes a new play for her. Will Evy survive the madness? This one is hilarious and touching. 368-2248, chapelstreetpalyers.org

You loved “The Bird Cage,” so you’ll love “La Cage Aux Folles,” which plays at The DuPont Theatre through March 11. Starring George Hamilton, “La Cage” tells the story of Georges, the owner of a club in Saint-Tropez, and his partner Albin, who moonlights as the chanteuse Zaza. When Georges’ son brings his fiancée’s conservative parents home to meet him, the bonds of family are put to a hilarious test. Winner of three Tony Awards, the new production was the biggest hit on Broadway in 2010—and you can see it right here in Wilmo. 656-4401, duponttheatre.com

The drama “Miss Saigon” at the New Candlelight Theatre tells the story of U.S. soldier Chris and his love for native Kim in Vietnam during the war, as based on “Madame Butterfly.” The play continues through March 11. Don’t forget: dinner comes with the show. 475-2313, nctstage.org

Funky Philly

No matter how you view the landscape of Philadelphia, you’ll see it anew through “Municipalia,” an exhibition of works by Philadelphia artist Erin Murray at DCCA now through June. “Municipalia” features recent drawings and paintings of the subterranean interiors and aging exteriors of public buildings and institutional settings in what becomes a photo-realistic picture of alienation and criticism of a failed utopia. “With the subway interiors I could exploit the pure painterly joy of fluorescent light on dingy tile. With the drawings I could take the buildings out of context, and give the viewer more to chew on in terms of how to relate to the subject,” Murray says. “The compositions are intended to monumentalize the buildings and make them seem more important than they are. These buildings share their DNA with the utopian ideologies of Modernism but have to exist in the real world of economic reality and human messiness. So, in the drawings I try to provide a space for what buildings can communicate unintentionally, a sense of failure, sadness, absurdity.” You’ll never see the city the same. 656-6466, thedcca.org

Another Pyle

We’re all intimately familiar with the life and work of illustrator Howard Pyle, but probably not as well acquainted with the oeuvre of his younger sister. Learn more in “Tales of Folk and Fairies: The Life and Work of Katharine Pyle,” on view at Delaware Art Museum until September 9. Katharine Pyle became one of the most prolific woman writers and illustrators of her day, even if she did spend a good portion of her career working in the shadow of her famous brother. Her poems were published in the Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Bazaar while she was still a girl, before she went on to study art at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women and the Drexel Institute as a prelude to working as an illustrator. Her output includes 50 books, most famously Anna Sewell's “Black Beauty, ” which she illustrated in her own, inimitable style. See more now. You’ll be charmed. 571-9590, delart.org

A Really Biggs Show

Get to The Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover for “Jewels of the Generations: The Legacy of Loockerman and Bradford Family of Dover.” The exhibition displays early American clothing, Victorian jewelry, European and Asian ceramics, American and European silver, American and European portraits, and Delaware- and Philadelphia-made furniture as collected by Vincent Loockerman and his descendants, the Bradfords. When Loockerman died in 1785 he was probably Dover’s largest collector of Delaware and Philadelphia-made furniture. For the past 200 years, his family has lived with those pieces while adding their own. Biggs museum founder Sewell C. Biggs was an admirer of Loockerman’s collection, hence the exhibition and related events. On March 21, curator Ryan Grover, and Margaret Dunham of Delaware Public Archives will discuss the Loockerman family and its influence through objects in the exhibition. There’s more, so check the Biggs Web site. 674-2111, biggsmusuem.org

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