The Delaware Theatre Company’s 2012-2013 season—its first under new director Bud Martin—begins with a bang and some top-notch talent. “The Outgoing Tide,” a drama by Barrymore Award-winning playwright Bruce Graham, runs Oct. 10-28, starring no less than the critically acclaimed Michael Learned. You know her from “The Waltons.” Her role as Olivia Walton earned her three Emmy awards, and she later received an Emmy for her role as Mary Benjamin in her own series, “Nurse.” She is also a People’s Choice Award winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee. “The Outgoing Tide” offers surprising humor as it explores the ebb and flow of a family dynamic. In a summer cottage on Chesapeake Bay, Gunner has hatched an unorthodox plan to secure his family’s future but meets with resistance from his wife and grown son. According to the Chicago Sun Times, this drama, by Philadelphia’s most acclaimed playwright, Bruce Graham, “hums with dark humor and profound emotion.” “Tide” won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Chicago’s Best New Play of 2011 after its premiere at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago. Theatre Mania calls the show “thought provoking and moving.” “When I read the play the first time, I found myself laughing out loud,” Learned says, “and at the end I wept. Not because it was so sad, but because it was so right, so human, so perfect. It is the story of a flawed family dealing with life and death choices. I am in love with this play and its richly human characters.” Martin directs. “We are thrilled that Michael has agreed to do this show,” he says. “We all know her as a wonderful TV actress, but most people do not know the extent of her talent as a stage actress. Her willingness to come to Wilmington is a testament to just how important this play is and offers a rare and marvelous opportunity for our audiences to see her live on stage.” Learned’s Broadway credits include Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man,” starring roles in the world premieres of Arthur Miller’s “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” and Neil Simon’s “Actors and Actresses,” and national tours of “On Golden Pond” and “Driving Miss Daisy.” Her feature films include “Life During Wartime” and “Power,” directed by Sidney Lumet. Tickets to “Tide” are going quickly, so act now. 594-1100, delawaretheatre.com
Music to Our Ears
This is some of the best news we’ve heard in an age: The Delaware Symphony Orchestra—on the verge of collapse last summer—has announced its annual chamber series. The season begins Oct. 9, with concerts also in February, March and April. On Tuesday see—and hear—DSO’s string players perform “The Most Beautiful Music in the World.” A bold claim? We love it. You’ll hear Mozart’s Divertimento for Strings No. 3, K. 138 in F Major, Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59 No. 3 in C Major, Puccini’s Three Minuets for Strings and Gershwin’s Lullaby for String Quartet, all directed by maestro David Amado, who is celebrating his 10th season with DSO. Before the show, meet new manager Diana Milburn. All concerts are Tuesday evenings in The Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont. March features the orchestra’s brass, April the winds. Single-concert tickets are available, or subscribe to the whole series. DSO is one of our greatest treasures. Help keep it alive. 652-5577, delawaresymphony.org
Shake, Shake, Shake
We’ve barely said goodbye to summer, but we’re already looking ahead to the next because we can’t wait for the Delaware Shakespeare Festival. This just in from artistic director David Stradley: The 2013 play will be the hilarious “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” The story: When Proteus departs to see the world, he leaves his best friend, Valentine, to pine after his Julia. When Valentine visits Proteus abroad, he quickly falls head over heels for Proteus’ new-found love, Silvia. Amore, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness—“Two Gents” has it all, including a dog. We’ll see you at Rockwood in July. 415-3373, delshakes.org
Clifford Brown Year-Round Jazz Series presents chanteuse Sharon Sable on Oct. 5. The much sought after vocalist is a favorite among musicians and music lovers due to her lyrical and sensitive approach, one that has led her to work with such popular artists as Babyface, Boyz II Men, Pink and others. Sable’s love of melody and instrument has led her to explore all genres. This from a Delaware Today story not long ago: “Her voice is a gift … phraseology is pitch perfect … and her performance implores us to follow…” See her at the Christina Cultural Arts Center’s Clifford Brown Performance Space on Market Street in Wilmington. 652-0101, ccacde.org
If you love classic soul and Motown, The Schwartz Center in Dover is the place to be this weekend. You can see The Sensational Soul Cruisers, an 11-man ensemble paying tribute to artists from Otis Redding and the Drifters to Barry White and the Commodores. With a lifetime of study and hard work, this group captures the distinctive style, skill and choreography of a classic show band. As former members of famous R&B and soul groups, they now work together to deliver their own sound as a vocal harmony group that is beyond compare. 678-5152, schwartzcenter.com
Prepare to be spooked. In “The Weir,” a few mates have gathered at a country pub for pints and a tale or two when a pretty stranger from Dublin joins them. The lads weave yarns of ghosts and hauntings to win her attention, but when she joins the storytelling, her tale becomes the eeriest of all. Conor McPherson’s award-winning portrayal of loss, loneliness, and love brilliantly depicts the wit and wiles of the Irish soul. Don’t miss the UD Resident Ensemble Players’ production at the Roselle Center for the Arts in Newark Oct. 4-13 831-2204 rep.udel.edu
Your Own Museum Show
If you are a young artist who dreams of seeing your work displayed in a museum wall, the Delaware Art Museum could help that dream come true. Coming soon is “12 x 12,” a group exhibition featuring works by Delaware artists between the ages of 13 and 18. Interested applicants must fill out an application found at delart.org, then take their completed submission to the museum on Oct. 6 to be considered for inclusion. The show will be on view Oct. 20-Jan.13 as part of the museum’s 100th anniversary celebration. Learn more at delart.org.
New from The Grand: Operation Fun Pass, a statewide program that gives local arts, entertainment and cultural attractions a way to donate coupons, discounts, free passes, and gift certificates to active-duty military and their families. More than 25 cultural organizations, museums, and theaters are already participating. At The Grand, that means buy-one-get-one-free tickets for select performances. To raise awareness of Operation Fun Pass, The Grand is asking the public to submit photos and a brief biography of family members and friends who are serving or have served in the military. The information will then be posted on The Grand’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger) as a salute to the brave local men and women protecting our country. The photos will also be displayed in a slideshow on The Grand’s YouTube page and may be used during The Grand’s pre-show slideshows and The Grand’s annual fundraiser, The Grand Gala. The Grand will accept submissions for “A Grand Troops Salute” until Nov. 20. Just e-mail your submissions to communications manager Sara Sultanik at ssultanik @grandopera.org. All the best.
The Possum Point Players is performing “City of Angels” through Oct 7. “City” transports you to Hollywood in the 1940s through a musical homage to the great crime movies of the day. The show, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, and book by Larry Gelbart, boasts two musical scores. One helps the cast reveal emotions appropriate to the moment. The other was written to emulate pure movie soundtrack music—swinging jazz, torchy ballads, witty lyrics and a Manhattan Transfer-like Greek chorus. The music has been said to be the most exciting jazz-swing score done for Broadway, with the wittiest lyrics. See—and hear—it at Possum Hall in Georgetown. 856-4560, possumpointplayers.org
Going back to school has never been funnier than it is in the Tony-winning “The 25th Annual Putnam Couty Spelling Bee.” This hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst chronicles the experience of six adolescents in the spelling championship of a lifetime. Get in on the action. “Spelling Bee” will have you holding your ribs. See it through Oct. 28 at The New Candlelight Theatre. nctstage.org
Coming soon to the Delaware Art Museum, “So Beautifully Illustrated” shows the work of Katharine Richardson Wireman, who studied with Howard Pyle before embarking on a 50-year career as an illustrator. Her illustrations, which often featured domestic scenes, ranged from advertisements and fashion features to children’s books to covers of magazines such as The Country Gentleman. Drawn from the museum’s renowned illustration collection and some private collections, “So Beautifully Illustrated” features 48 oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings created between 1912 and 1950. Richardson Wireman’s ability to offer a range of subjects and moods created great demand among magazine editors. She excelled at depicting women, children, and families in domestic settings and everyday situations. In addition to illustrating magazine covers, Richardson Wireman illustrated children’s books, magazine articles, and educational materials. “So Beautifully Illustrated” continues the series of exhibitions focused on the Golden Age of Illustration and the students of Howard Pyle. See it Oct. 6-Jan. 6. 571-9590, delart.org
The Biggs Museum of American Art will host a “trunk show” on Oct. 5 that includes a visit by esteemed local photographer Kevin Fleming, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest book, “Landmarks and Legacies.” Also at the event, Delaware By Hand members Deb Appleby and Marilyn Nugent will display their Venetian-style glass beads, hand-blown vases and other unique, hand-crafted glass works. The fun happens after hours, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., as part of Dover’s First Friday activities. 674-2111, biggsmusuem.org