Music Up Close

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series continues with part 2, David Amado & Friends, on Feb. 5 in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont. The program includes a performance of Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57—our maestro on piano—and more. Chamber concerts are a wonderful opportunity to see the players up close. 652-5577,

Grand Good Times

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Here are two fun things at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington this week. First, it’s up, up and away with 1970s hit makers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis on Feb. 8. You know them as part of The 5th Dimension, who charted high with (“Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In,” and as the duo who made “You Don’t Have To Be A Star.” Together for more than 40 years, they promise a great celebration at The Grand. On the next night, Feb. 9, fillmaker John Waters performs a one-man show, “My Filthy World” that celebrates his obsession with bad taste. You know him as the director of “Hairspray,” “Pink Flamingos” and “Cry Baby.” You’ll know him a lot better by the end of the night. 652-5577,

Very Cool Concerts

Listen up, francophiles and Frankenstein freaks: this is the week to visit the University of Delaware department of music. First, cellist Lawrence Stomberg and pianist Julie Nishimura, both faculty artists, present a concert of works that explore the musical ties between France and America, including works by Lukas Foss, William Bolcom, Nadia Boulanger and Thodore Dubois. On Feb. 10 the UD Chamber Orchestra presents Michael Shapiro’s film score to Universal Pictures’ 1931 “Frankenstein.” Shapiro composed the score to be played along with the film, blending live music with the story on screen and giving audiences an entirely new way to experience the film. The concert begins with a talk by renowned Frankenstein expert Charles E. Robinson from the department of English. Cool stuff. 831-2204,

Go for Baroque

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The esteemed Brandywine Baroque presents a harpsichord concert by the internationally recognized Kristian Bezuidenhout on Feb. 10. Bezuidenhout came to prominence after winning the prestigious first prize at the Bruges Fortepiano Competition. He is a frequent guest artist with the world’s leading ensembles, including The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concerto Köln, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Collegium Vocale Gent. See him at the grand Barn at Flintwoods in Wilmington. 877-594-4546,

Heart of the Matter

Delaware Shakespeare Festival presents an intoxicating mix of Shakespeare readings, song, and romance perfect for Valentine’s week. DSF actors will read some of Shakespeare’s greatest love scenes, special guests will recite favorite sonnets, and the evening will be punctuated with song and opportunities for the audience to engage in Shakespearean wooing, all at The World Cafe Live at the Queen. This just in from DSF director David Stradley: “Part of the fun will be some special guests reading Shakespeare sonnets. We’ve just gotten confirmation that Gov. and first lady Markell made a recording of them reading Sonnet 116 and that Sen. Coons will be recording a reading of Sonnet 29. Both those videos will be screened at the event. WDEL’s Rick Jensen will be reading Sonnet 124 live at the event, and Delaware Symphony’s David Amado is trying to arrange his schedule as well to be there reading a sonnet.” We can’t wait. 994-1400,

Car Talk

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Becky Foster is caught in middle age, with no prospects of change on the horizon. Then one night a socially inept millionaire stumbles into her workplace and offers her a whole new life. And you get to ride shotgun in a way that most plays wouldn’t dare. “Becky’s New Car” is a thoroughly original comedy with serious overtones, a devious and delightful romp down the road not taken. See it performed by the Kent County Theatre Guild through Feb. 16. 674-3568,

Blue Screen, Blank Canvas

What digital information floats in cyber space, and what of it is worth your time? Find out as The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts presents “This Space Is Intentionally Left Blank” by Texas artist Kerry Adams, on view through April 21. Adams’ installation integrates traditional installation art and technology through the use of tablets that display live Twitter feeds. The installation encourages the viewer to engage with the exhibition by posting comments to Twitter with the hashtag #leftblank while within the installation. The exercise creates a literal dialogue with visitors about the ubiquitous nature of technology and the role of individuality and community in daily life. Introducing text, electrical cords, and tablet computers as aesthetic, sculptural elements, the exhibit hinges upon social media and physical engagement. According to the artist, being able to tweet to her exhibition “will allow you to add to the dialogue about attempts to communicate, failed communication, and the moments we miss right in front of us as we search for what is out of reach.” Ironically, as viewers approach the tablets to read the messages, a motion sensor forces the Twitter streams to turn off, metaphorically enabling us to unplug from the screen-based chatter and to re-engage with our present surroundings. According to Pear Analytics, most tweeting includes spam, self-promotion and babble. Only 3.6 percent of tweets are considered newsworthy and 8.7 percent of pass-along value. In “This Space,” Adams’ work would seemingly suggest the gallery as a test site for face-to-face conversation. 656-6466,

High-Flying Fun

Dreamliner scandal aside, the timing couldn’t be better for Delaware Theatre Company’s production of “Boeing Boeing” by Marc Camoletti. Starring Sara M. Bruner, Gisela Chipe, Sarah Doherty, Heidi-Marie Ferren, Jeffrey C. Hawkins and Jason O’Connell, and directed by Steve Tague, the 1960s French farce relates the hijinks that ensue when playboy Bernard juggles the arrivals and departures of his three fiancées, each a flight attendant, each unaware of the other until an old friend’s surprise visit causes a rough flight. See it through Feb. 10. 594-1104,

Time for a Show

“Ragtime, A Musical,” features a tapestry of tunes, including marches, cakewalks, gospel, and ragtime that make the show as vibrant and diverse as America itself. “Ragtime” tells the stories of three groups in early 20th-century New York City: upper-class suburbanites, European immigrants, and African-Americans. Director Jeffrey Santoro of Wilmington brings it to life like no other. See it at Wilmington Drama League through Feb. 10. 764-3396,

I’m Your Puppet

We’re not going to lie—you have to see “Pinocchio” at Delaware Children’s Theatre before it ends Feb. 10. See the puppet dance into true boyhood to the delight of his maker, Geppetto, in the stage adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s classic novel. 655-1014

The Father of Illustration

“Before Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth rose to the height of their profession as illustrators, there was Felix Octavius Carr Darley, whose skill in book and magazine illustration made him one of the most popular artists of his time and earned him a reputation as the Father of American Illustration,” says Audrey Lewis, an associate curator at the Brandywine River Museum in nearby Chadds Ford. Go there to see his work in “The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley.” The self-taught Darley, active till his death in 1888, drew for works by such literary giants as James Fenimore Cooper and Nathanial Hawthorne. He settled in Claymont at a time when his work was so popular, books were advertised as “illustrated by Darley.” Take a look through March 10. 610-338-2700,

A Picture of Today

The year 2012 might have been Delaware Art Museum’s 100th anniversary year, but the celebration continues with “State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle” Feb. 9-June 1. The exhibition features more than 60 works from eight of the most important contemporary illustrators. In 2011, the museum launched its centennial celebration with a major retrospective dedicated to illustrator Howard Pyle. “State of the Art” marks the celebration’s end and reflects on Pyle’s legacy. In the century since his death in 1911, American illustration has diversified into a wide range of art forms, including animated films, computer-generated images to graphic novels and conceptual art. “No single exhibition could possibly do justice to the noisy, rambunctious history of illustration over the past century,” says curator David Apatoff. “I’ve chosen instead to feature eight individuals whose diverse talents demonstrate that illustration is no longer the singular profession it was in Pyle’s day. It pervades our culture, reaching out to us from billboards, television, store windows, and computer screens.” Meet the artists.

Bernie Fuchs began his career creating realistic paintings for automobile advertisements. By the 1960s, he was at the forefront of illustrators whose impressionistic works redefined the field. He eventually became known around the world for his sense of color and design. He passed away in 2009.

Milton Glaser is among the world’s most celebrated graphic and architectural designers. His achievements range from the “I ♥ New York” logo to complete graphic and decorative programs for public spaces. He has been the subject of one-man shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Mort Drucker is one of MAD magazine’s most famous artists. An influential caricaturist, he is renowned for his pen and ink work. His TIME covers are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Phil Hale pushes the boundaries between fine art and illustration by making powerful compositions and combining traditional realism with moody, complex, evocative themes. Though highly regarded for his covers for books by Joseph Conrad and Steven King, Hale is recognized around the world for his fine art.

Sterling Hundley combines traditional artistic media with digital tools. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vibe and The New York Times. Hundley has won gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Illustrators Club in Washington, D.C. He is an instructor at The Illustration Academy and a professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

John Cuneo’s drawings have appeared in many major publications, including The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated and The Atlantic. He is highly regarded for the humor in his work and has been awarded several medals from the Society of Illustrators.

Peter De Sève began as an editorial illustrator in the 1980s and is well known for his covers for The New Yorker, along with his illustrations for TIME and Newsweek. He has also created character designs for animated films produced by Disney, DreamWorks Studios, Pixar, and Twentieth Century Fox, including “Mulan,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Ice Age.”

Ralph Eggleston was the art director at Pixar for “Toy Story,” the first full-length computer-animated film, as well as for “The Incredibles.” He was also the production designer for films such as “Finding Nemo” and “WALL·E.” His work has been recognized for its color, composition and sense of fantasy.

Curator David Apatoff began his career as a professional cartoonist and illustrator. He has illustrated children’s books and worked in a commercial art studio. He is the author of “Robert Fawcett, The Illustrator’s Illustrator” and “Albert Dorne, Master Illustrator,” and he writes the popular blog Illustration Art ( He has written extensively for Illustration Magazine and other publications. Apatoff practices technology law for a multinational law firm in Washington, D.C.

This promises to be one cool exhibition, with something for everyone in the family. 571-9590,

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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