2/22 Media Roundup: Merce, Mabou & More

by Brian Howe on February 22, 2011

This is one of the busiest times in the Duke Performances 2010/2011 season, with multiple exciting performances by Ireland’s Abbey Theater, Mabou Mines, and Brad Mehldau with Anne Sofie von Otter in the coming week alone. It’s a lot to take in. In our semi-regular media roundup, we trawl the Internet for the most pertinent Duke Performances-related news so you don’t have to.

NPR producer and A Blog Supreme editor Patrick Jarenwattananon recently visited Durham to see the Wayne Shorter Quartet, and wrote this long Durham tour diary about the experience. Jarenwattananon sat in on the Jazz Loft Project‘s Sam Stephenson’s interview with Branford Marsalis, missed most of Brian Blade‘s show at the Pinhook, heard the Brian Horton Trio at Whiskey, breakfasted with Duke Performances Director Aaron Greenwald, and much more. He also found the time to participate in our roundtable discussion of the Wayne Shorter Quartet’s performance.

A cover story in the New York Times deals with Lee Breuer‘s unusual French-language staging of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, the first American play that Comedie-Francaise has ever presented. The production grafts a Japanese mise-en-scène onto Williams’ American South. Mr. Breuer visits Durham this weekend to direct Mabou Mines in two workshop readings of Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, where we can expect similarly ambitious inventions.

In other news, the Times shines a spotlight on the dancers of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The Classical Voice of North Carolina offers an attendance-lamenting rave review of Thomas Hampson’s recent performance, and a slightly mixed review of Jeremy Denk. The Duke Chronicle chats with Jim White, and the Jazz Times interviews Aaron Greenwald and Ethan Iverson about the Bad Plus’ upcoming Stravinsky premiere.  The Telegraph praises Marino Formenti’s recital of his “Kurtag’s Ghosts” program at Wigmore Hall, which he brings to Reynolds Theater on March 27. And the Boston Herald calls Abbey Theater’s Terminus “mesmerizing,” and offers some intriguing details on the play as it makes its way for Durham this weekend.

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