Arts and Entertainment

Robert Burns Night set to dispel the winter chill with food, poetry, song, & whisky

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Between the end of the holidays and Winter Fest, Bowling Green needs something. That’s part of the reason that Scottish enthusiast and bon vivant Elliot MacFarlane and chef Boby Mitov of Naslada Bistro in downtown have teamed up for the last few years to stage Robert Burns Night.  The fourth Burns Night at Naslada will be presented Saturday, Jan. 19, starting at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. Call 419-373-6050.  The event has sold out in past years. The charge is $110, which includes a four-course meal and four flights of top shelf whisky. The dinner is a more intimate affair than other downtown events. A few dozen revelers will gather in the eatery’s cozy confines for a night of poetry, song, traditional Scottish fare prepared with a contemporary International touch, whisky, and the humor, often rude, that the consumption of rounds of liquor often prompts. Boby Mitov carries in the haggis during the 2017 Burns Night. Dinners in honor of Burns, around the time of his Jan. 25 birthday, have been celebrated since the poet’s death in 1796, MacFarlane, a member of the St. Andrews Society, said.  While Burns is the national poet of Scotland, MacFarlane said, his appeal is universal. South African liberationist Nelson Mandela had two books with him when he was imprisoned on Robben Island — a volume of Burns poetry and “The Diary of Anne Frank.” And Abraham Lincoln loved the poet. He recited the Scotsman’s verse as he traveled the circuit from court to court during his days as a lawyer in Illinois. And the night he was shot at Ford’s Theater, he had a book of Burns poetry in his pocket. MacFarlane (aka David Donley) said that Burns’ focus on the lives of common people is the key to his appeal. “I’m surprised at how many people know Robert Burns,” he said. And even those who don’t are aware of the poet’s phrases that have woven themselves into the language. Eliott MacFarlane speaks during 2017 Burns Night. Whether it’s “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men” or…


No Bravo! at BGSU this spring

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Bowling Green State University announced its premier arts events for the spring semester there was one particularly notable event, and one notable absence. Oscar-winning actress and BGSU alumna Eva Marie Saint will return to campus on March 29, a year after her last visit. Eva Marie Saint (left) speaks during a question and answer session moderated by Lesa Lockford at the 2018 Bravo! BGSU. The Oscar-winning actress will return to campus March 29 for the re-dedication of the Gish Theatre. During that 2018 appearance, she took part in Bravo! BGSU, an arts gala that raised funds for scholarships in the arts. Bravo! Is no more. While the event was successful in raising annually  just under $60,000 for scholarships that benefit dozens of students, the cost of staging the event was disproportionate to what it raised. “Each year it got better,” said Dean William Mathis, of the College of Musical Arts. “We got better at it. It really hit its stride. … Artistically it really started to flow.” The event had been initiated by President Mary Ellen Mazey, and remained a presidential event. Mazey expressed the hope that it would become the premier arts event in the region. But the organization fell more and more to the arts units on campus. “The event started take on some tradition and people started to recognize it. We were very proud of the content and the quality,” Mathis said. “It was really started on a shoe string … and as it gained more momentum and got more people involved, we really needed to sit back and analyze what we were doing.” That analysis by the arts coordination committee co-chaired by Mathis and Dean Ray Craig of the College of Arts and Sciences started last summer, now with a new president, Rodney Rogers, at the helm of the university.  “Because of the time and resources that it took, we weren’t sure we were getting return on the investment,” Mathis said. Later, Mathis added that “Bravo! wasn’t expanding our audience.” Some who attended were regulars at university arts events,…


Painter Aaron Pickens’ Toy Stories opens at 20 North Gallery in Toledo

From 20 NORTH GALLERY On Friday, January 11, 20 North Gallery will open “Toy Stories,” an exhibition of captivating oil paintings by Toledo area artist Aaron Pickens. The exhibit will continue through March 30, 2019. A free public reception will be held Friday, Jan. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. The “Toy Stories” exhibit features joyful and insouciant paintings with a whimsical sense of playfulness that belies the serious narratives they symbolize. Pickens’ paintings are created through dedicated observation of toy tableaux that the artist has built. With an emphasis on light and materiality, he carefully constructs these still life compositions to captivate the viewer. Pickens weaves an additional layer of depth into these bright, bold paintings with the toys and their depicted actions symbolizing and commenting on social issues relevant to today. A motif in Pickens’ artwork is to critique from a self-effacing position. Pickens states, “One of the unifying themes in my artwork has always been the desire to quietly disrupt some form of artistic convention in a highly refined manner, often using humor to do so.” Activism, art criticism, gun rights and environmental issues are examples of topics addressed in these vibrant works that entice and encourage the viewer to look longer and discover the underlying commentary. 20 North Gallery art director Condessa Croninger remarks, “We are proud to ring in the New Year and an exciting twenty-sixth exhibition season with celebrated and rising talent, Aaron Pickens. An artist with local roots, Pickens has an admirable dedication to the arts, fostering new talent through his role as an adjunct instructor at Adrian College among other institutions of higher education. As he expands his artistic career, we are delighted to be a venue hosting his popular and thought-provoking paintings that exhibit a strong duality. The way each viewer may bring a new perspective to each artwork is a true testament to the artist’s innate ability to create multi-layered paintings that discuss matters of social justice, yet are accessible to the child within all of us.” Aaron Pickens (Toledo, Ohio) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in digital arts from Bowling Green State University…


Eva Marie Saint to help dedicate new Gish Theater

From THE ARTS AT BGSU BGSU alumna and Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint will return to campus as part of the celebration of the re-opening of the Gish Film Theater—the newly renovated cinema now located in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. The original Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall was dedicated in 1976 to honor the achievements of Ohio natives Dorothy and Lillian Gish, renowned actresses of the stage and screen. The evening will include a reception at 6 p.m. and a special appearance by Saint, who appeared with Lillian Gish in the classic television movie, “The Trip to Bountiful. “ The event is free; however, because there is limited seating, tickets are required and may be claimed by visiting our ticketing site. For more information, call 419-372-2222.


Owens exhibit casts light on teen years of celebrated NYC artist Basquiat

From CONTEMPORARY ART TOLEDO Contemporary Art Toledo and Owens Community College will present Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat. This extraordinary exhibition focuses on the creative community Jean-Michel Basquiat helped galvanize in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York—A time when decay and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity and where the definition of fame, success, and power was not based on money, Facebook likes, or self-promotion. Zeitgeist complements and amplifies the film by Sara Driver, BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat  released from Magnolia Pictures last May.  Driver teamed with culture critic Carlo McCormick and Mary-Ann Monforton associate publisher of BOMB Magazine, along with the New York gallery Howl! Happening to curate this expansive exhibition which features works and ephemera by Basquiat himself and more than 3o friends and contemporaries, including Nan Goldin, Kenny Scharf, Al Diaz, and Lee Quiñones. Zeitgiest runs from January 25 through March 22. A public reception for the exhibition will be held on Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. followed by a public screening of the film BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Special guest for both the exhibition reception and the film will be curator Carlo McCormick.   Known today for his outsized role in the rise of Neo Expressionism and recent record breaking auction sales, the late Jean-Michel Basquiat was first recognized for his graffiti work in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the emerging artistic circles there, the focus was not on creating content the established art market could readily digest and profit from, but on creating a community that stood in opposition –  fostering unfiltered, uninhibited expression. Basquiat’s work illuminated the contradictions of society – its opposing realities, inequalities, injustices – through a mix of disparate artistic traditions and unrefined, raw emotion fueled by the punk and hip-hop movements of the time. In only a few years, he went from supporting himself through panhandling and selling painted t shirts and postcards while homeless, to being one of the most celebrated artists in New York, bringing the street level politics of what was an underground counter-culture collective with him into…


Pictures of the past being preserved for the future in the Wood County courthouse

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Stefan Dedecek is applying a mix of art, science, and craftsmanship to preserve a piece of Wood County history. For the past several weeks, Dedecek, a conservator with McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin, has been scaling a jungle gym of scaffolding to reach the mural depicting Fort Meigs that overlooks the third floor of the county courthouse.  As the wheels of justice spin on the floors below, he is painstakingly working to clean the mural’s surface.  In areas where the original painted image is gone, he will fill in the missing patches matching the style of the original artist, I.M. Taylor, a former mayor of Bowling Green. The murals * show the signs of age as well as a previous attempt to preserve them. “Somebody worked on it before me, and that’s the worst thing,” he said during a break from his work. That restorer some 40 or so years ago applied a thick layer of varnish over the painting. There’s dirt underneath that varnish, Dedecek said. Both need to come off. That was one of the surprises that a conservator finds, he said. Until the scaffolding had been erected, he hadn’t been able to get a close look at the mural, which depicts Fort Meigs in 1813. The mural was in worse shape than he anticipated. Still, he’s said he’s about half done removing the varnish. The mural was painted in oil, not a common medium, directly onto the wall. This contrasts with the way many famous murals such as those in the Sistine Chapel were done. Those had the pigment directly applied on wet surfaces so the paint suffuses the surface. Here the paint sits on top. As the building settles, and the temperature and humidity changes, the paint can flake off. Dedecek uses a syringe to inject adhesive directly into the concrete. He’ll use a variety of materials with pigment to fill in patches. Oil field mural He expects to finish the Fort Meigs mural later this month. Then the scaffolding will be moved to the other staircase, and he’ll…


Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to join Toledo Symphony for Jan. 26 show

From  TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA On Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 8 PM at the Stranahan Theater, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy takes center stage with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) for a night of jazz, swing, and more. Since its formation in the early 1990s, the band has toured virtually nonstop, performing over 150 shows a year, and has produced a sizable catalog of recorded music, with sales of over 2 million albums to date. This eight-piece ensemble features Scotty Morris on vocals and guitar, Joshua Levy on piano, Kurt Sodergren on drums and percussion, Dirk Shumaker on bass and vocals, Glen “The Kid” Marhevka on trumpet, Karl Hunter on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones and clarinet, Alex Henderson on trombone, Andy Rowley on baritone saxophone and vocals, and Mitchel Cooper on lead trumpet. “We are so excited to present Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as part of our 75th Anniversary season,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “They were responsible for the 1990s swing revival and have continued to make amazing music for the past several years. I can’t wait to see the energy they bring to the TSO. They’ll certainly have us singing and dancing along!” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s efforts to promote and revitalize swing music have taken shape as much more than a simple tribute. Taking inspiration from the creators of this uniquely American art form, the band’s original horn-infused music and legendary high energy show introduces the genre to a new and younger generation while remaining cognizant and respectful of the music’s rich legacy. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has appeared in countless films and television shows, including The Wild, Despicable Me, Phineas & Ferb, Friends, Third Rock From The Sun, Ally McBeal, and So You Think You Can Dance. They have appeared live on Dancing With The Stars, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a remarkable seven appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Super Bowl XXXIII Halftime Show. The band has also appeared as special guests with many of the country’s most distinguished symphony orchestras, and has performed for three U.S. Presidents.


Family Reunion nearing end of run at Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART There is less than a week left to see the internationally acclaimed exhibition, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion, which closes Sunday, Jan. 6.  Following its time at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), the exhibition will travel to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and then to the Foundation Custodia Frits Lugt in Paris, France. Admission to Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion is for $10 for adults, $7 for senior/military/students, and $5 for youth ages 5-17. Children under 4 are free. Admission to the exhibition is free for Museum members. Admission to the exhibition is free this Thursday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. Frans Hals Portraits exhibition, which reunited three known sections of Hals Van Campen family portrait for the first time since the painting was separated over 200 years ago, also explores how the definition of family has changed over time and includes the photo contributions of hundreds of area families. “The reunion of these 17th-century masterworks served as the perfect platform to explore more broadly and deeply how family is defined and what the concept of family means to us in the 21st–century,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “As part of the exploration, more than 500 families submitted photographs depicting their view of family. Some of those were included in the exhibition and others were used in a digital display in Libbey Court.” One of the greatest portraitists in the history of Western European painting, Frans Hals (1582/83-1666) is renowned for his revolutionary candid style of capturing sitters in seemingly


Arts beat: The year ends with a welcome & farewell

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The year ended on the arts beat Saturday evening with a hello and a goodbye. On one end of Main Street in downtown Bowling Green, friends and family gathered at Grounds for Thought to bid farewell to Tom McLaughlin Sr. who died Dec. 11. McLaughlin, a Bowling Green native who returned to his hometown to retire, then lived most of his last year in Ireland, soaking in the music and dance, and memorizing the poetry of William Butler Yeats.  In Bowing Green, he was an energetic promoter of the arts, and an artist himself. At the first Black Swamp Arts Festival he won second prize for one of his dollhouses. But as he explained in an interview before the 25th festival , he knew he couldn’t produce enough work to sell at an affordable price, so instead he demonstrated his craft launching the Artist at Work feature at the festival.  Then he worked with Kay Baglione and Jacquie Nathan to chair the visual arts committee. Together they made the decisions that established the festival as a premier show on the art fair circuit. They ended the non-juried show, but also created the Wood County Invitational to insure that local artists had a place at the event. He was a multidimensional character as explained by those who spoke at the memorial. He was presence around town. He walked everywhere, a habit he continued in Ireland. Down the street at Howard’s Club H, local music fans welcomed back Joe Baker to the scene.  He wryly noted he’d been on “vacation,” or as he told BG Independent on a tour of Northwest Ohio hospitals. He’s bounded back from his serious heart issues.  He and the band first played last summer in City Park, but there was something particularly poignant about being back in Howard’s where he’s played for so many years with so many different bands. On Saturday he had his electric guitar in hand. And the crowd was there to support him. Several couples split their attentions with one spouse attending the memorial while another came…


Nordic Air concert reunites Toledo Symphony’s Alain Trudel with violinist Augustin Hadelich

From  TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA On Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater, Grammy award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich returns to Toledo and reunites with Music Director Alain Trudel to perform Sibelius’ breathtaking Violin Concerto on a program inspired by the icy landscape of Northern Europe. Known for his phenomenal technique and beautiful tone, Augustin Hadelich takes center stage for one of the most captivating openings in violin repertoire. Alain Trudel will also lead an exciting performance of Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” Suites No. 1 and 2, and conclude with Nielsen’s “Aladdin March.” “This concert gives cause to celebrate,” says Toledo Symphony President & CEO, Zak Vassar. “When Augustin Hadelich was last here in April 2017, he wowed us with Dvořák’s rarely performed Violin Concerto. His tone and warmth were very special, and we all knew that we were working with greatness. Of course, that was also the concert that convinced us to engage Alain Trudel as our Music Director, so it was a special week in many ways. I can’t wait for Augustin and Alain to reunite and make more musical magic in this community.” At the age of 34, Augustin Hadelich has firmly established himself as one of the great violinists of today. Named “2018 Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America, he has performed with every major orchestra in the U.S., as well as an ever-growing number of orchestras in the UK, Europe, and Asia. “I am so excited to share the stage with Augustin Hadelich again,” says Alain Trudel, Toledo Symphony Music Director. “This concert features great music that I think the audience is going to love. Sibelius’ Violin Concerto is incredibly challenging and takes full advantage of the violin’s colorful range. Augustin has a remarkable tone, and he will be able to showcase his expressiveness through this magnificent work.” Two performances of Nordic Air will take place on Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater. Tickets are available at toledosymphony.com or by…


For 20+ years, Red Wanting Blue has embraced its bar band status with live shows & new songs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Scott Terry of the rock band Red Wanting Blue  imagines  the audience he’s writing sings for, he sees them in venues from coast to coast. It may be the Bowery Ballroom in New York City or the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. It may also any of a dozen venues in the American Heartland including Northwest Ohio. Red Wanting Blue was a regular for years on the local music scene playing Howard’s Club H and Cla-Zel in Bowling Green and more recently the Civic Music Hall in Toledo. That’s where the veteran rockers will perform Friday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show at the club at 135 S. Byrne Road, Toledo are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Every band has a different trajectory, Terry said during a recent telephone interview. For Red Wanting Blue that started more than 20 years ago in Oxford, Ohio. The band — Terry on lead vocal, ukulele, tenor guitar; Mark McCullough, bass and vocals, Greg Rahm, guitar, keyboard, vocals; Eric Hall, guitar, lap steel. vocals; and Dean Anshutz, drums and percussion — cut their teeth in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, as well as their home state of Ohio. “These places are very middle American,” Terry said. “We’re playing for people who work in middle America, and when they go out to cut loose on a Friday night they want to drink and have a good time. They want to listen to music they can relate to and appreciate. We very much wanted to be that band.” That’s the audience they cater to. Red Wanting Blue isn’t a household name, Terry admits. Some people call them a bar band, a term not usually meant as a compliment, Terry said. “But there is something to be said about singing songs that are aimed at people in a bar. Songs that people will be captivated by. It better be melodic. It better be engaging right there in the moment. … That’s the stream we’ve been on. That’s where the river took us.” Over the more than two…


Joe Baker celebrates with Howard’s show a year after knockin’ on heaven’s door

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A year ago musician Joe Baker was on “tour” — a tour of Northwest Ohio hospitals. A heart attack on Nov. 29, 2017, sent him first to Wood County Hospital, where he was told it was good he came as soon as he did, at the guidance of his wife, Peg. He headed to St. Vincent’s for surgery. That didn’t go well. He was transferred to Medical Center of Ohio. After an operation that lasted nine days, he didn’t wake up.  During the operation he had a stroke.“I lost all of December,” he said.  Baker, who has been active on the Bowling Green music scene since he came to Bowling Green State University in 1969, wondered about how much he’d lost. “I was concerned I wouldn’t get back,” he said. “I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t raise myself. Those were major hurdles.” On June 24, though, Baker was back on stage singing with his band at City Park. Now Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. the Joe Baker Band will perform at Howard’s Club H in Bowling Green.  The concert is aptly titled Joe Baker’s Home for the Holidays Christmas Jam. His cognition and speech came back fairly quickly, he said. The neurologist told his wife that her husband had “the best kind of stroke.” While peripheral areas of the brain were affected, no major areas were wiped out. Baker got moving again. He still has problems lifting his right arm, so he can’t get it over the body of his acoustic guitar. He discovered he can get it over the body of his electric. Music, he said, has helped him recover. “Even just working this hand and giving it something to do,” he said of his right hand. “I can’t imagine not being able to play. So even if I could just play for myself it was a good thing.” His musician friends visited him while he was hospitalized, he said, though he was “in wonderland” and wasn’t sure where he was. Baker said he’d look out the window and see the awning, and…


Toledo Museum ends year with Great Art Escape

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ARTS Celebrate the season with a diverse array of activities, events, and performances during the Great Art Escape, which returns to the Museum Dec. 26 through 30, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019. Activities include Peristyle performances, Dutch organ concerts, glassblowing demonstrations, glass art workshops, Family Center activities, drawing in the galleries, family studio workshops, and more. Peristyle performances include the infectious Southeast Asian experience provided by Aha! Indian Dance, El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folkorico, JP Dynasty, the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance, and the Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra. Dutch organ concerts will take place at 1 p.m. in Gallery 24 each day. The Great Art Escape is sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac.  Demos, Activities & Entertainment PERISTYLE PERFORMANCES: 2 p.m., Peristyle Stage Wednesday, Dec. 26: Ardan Academy of Irish DanceThursday, Dec. 27: JP DynastyFriday, Dec. 28: El Corazon de Mexico Ballet FolkloricoSaturday, Dec. 29: Dancers of Aha! Indian DanceSunday, Dec. 30: Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra DUTCH ORGAN CONCERTS: 1 p.m., Gallery 24 Wednesday, Dec. 26, Dennis JohnsThursday, Dec. 27, Nancy RusselFriday, Dec. 28, Martha EsbinSaturday, Dec. 29, Pamela Stover,Sunday, Dec. 30, Dennis BlubaughTuesday, Jan. 1, Charlotte Mariasy MUSIC PERFORMANCES: Thursday, Dec. 27: Frans Hals Community Program: Family Band Showcase, 7-9 p.m., Levis Gallery SNOW GLOBE SOCIAL: Friday, Dec. 28, 7-10 p.m., GlasSalon Add the Museum’s Snow Globe Social to your holiday plans! Stay warm with seasonal drinks, test your knowledge at trivia, and shake off the winter blues with dancing and live music. Gather your friends for some holiday fun in the Glass Pavilion. Admission is free; cash bar available. (Re)New Year’s Day Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2-4 p.m., GlasSalon Celebrate (Re)New Year’s Day by participating in a one-of-a-kind experience inspired by art, yoga, movement, and meditation. Then, meet and mingle in the GlasSalon to enjoy refreshing, locally-sourced beverages and design your own Vision Board. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat. Registration is encouraged*. (Re)New Year’s Day is presented by Circle, the Toledo Museum of Art’s affinity group dedicated to inclusive and innovative programming that engages new audiences with the Museum. GLASSBLOWING DEMOS: Glass Pavilion Hot Shop Wednesday, Dec. 26: 1, 2, and 3 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 27: 1, 2, 3, and 8 p.m.Friday, Dec. 28: 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 p.m.Saturday, Dec. 29: 1, 2,…


DePue Brothers help hometown celebrate the holidays

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green loves its DePue Brothers. The four string virtuosos have been entertaining Northwest Ohio audiences since they were knee high to a string bass, and just in time for Christmas they are back in town to present their Holiday Spectacular. Because tickets sold out so quickly for the evening show, they offered a matinee Friday also in Kobacker Hall They played on their home town status with a stentorian announcement at the beginning of the concert announcing they had come “all the way from Bowling Green.” A typical bit of DePue humor with a lot of truth in it.  Wallace, Jr., Alex, Jason, and Zach DePue (listed in descending order of age — we’ll let them sort out how they should be ranked in terms of looks) have come a long way from Bowling Green. They’ve graced stages around the world with orchestras,  small ensembles, country acts, and as soloists. This concert was part of a short tour. While those in attendance surely were attracted in part by nostalgia, the DePue “boys” haven’t been boys for many decades, except maybe to their father, Wallace, Sr., who first corralled his brood, lo those many years ago. Close your eyes to those familiar mugs on stage, and what you will hear is a crack touring ensemble of virtuosos playing a high-energy musical blend, termed “grassical,” by Wallace DePue, Jr. Each brother has a seamless style that erases the line between fiddle and violin. The non-DePue members of the ensemble  are full collaborators not a back up band.  They include award-winning banjo player Mike Munford and guitarist Mark Cosgrove along with in-demand session bassist Kevin MacConnell and percussionist Don Liuzzi, who plays with Jason DePue in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Liuzzi also serves as the band’s manager. Alex DePue gave him credit for being an instigator in bringing the DePue Brothers Band together. The brothers made sure everyone had a chance to showcase their talents from the start. The afternoon show opened with the “Linus and Lucy” theme  pushed along by Munford’s banjo. The band then launched…


Black Swamp Players cast ‘The Music Man’

The Black Swamp Players has announced the cast for its second production of the 2018-2019 season, “The Music Man.” “The Music Man” follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill (Bradley King), as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize–this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. Hill’s plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian (Jennifer Braun), the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall. The principal cast includes: King (Harold Hill); Braun (Marian Paroo); Liam Rogel (Winthrop Paroo); Alice Walters (Amaryllis); Andelus Elwazani (Zaneeta Shinn); Bobby Walters (Tommy Djilas); Perry Andre (Marcellus Washburn); Lane Hakel (Charlie Cowell); Keith Guion (Mayor Shinn); Sally Stemen (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn); Deb Shaffer (Mrs. Paroo); Evie Van Vorhis (Gracie Shinn); and Matthew Crawford, Allen Rogel, and Andrew Varney as the school board members/quartet. Written by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, The Music Man has been entertaining audiences since 1957, when it premiered on Broadway. The musical earned eight Tony-award nominations in 1958 and went on to win six Tonys, including nods for Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress. The Black Swamp Players production of The Music Man will be directed by Amy Spaulding-Heuring. “The Music Man” will open on Friday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 17 at 2: p.m.; Friday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church, Bowling Green. Tickets for all performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website and at the door on the day of the performance. “The Music Man” is the second of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area…