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Musical ‘Falsettos’ - Other Minds Festival 24 - Once Upon a Time - Friends from Near and Far

Joan Marcus

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, host David Latulippe talks with actor Nick Blaemire (above, right) about his role in the national touring production of the musical Falsettos, which opened this week and runs through April 14 at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre (1 Taylor St.) in San Francisco.  

The Tony Award-winning musical Falsettos tells the story of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his ex-wife Trina, his psychiatrist Mendel (Nick Blaemire), his about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son Jason, his lover Whizzer Brown, and his lesbian neighbors Cordelia and Dr. Charlotte. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1992 and was nominated for seven Tony Awards (and won two: Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score). The 2016 Broadway revival was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. 

We talk with Charles Amirkhanian, executive and artistic director of Other Minds, about Festival 24, opening on March 23 (8pm) at the Wilsey Center Taube Atrium Theater with the first of two performances dedicated to the rarely heard chamber works of Franco-Russian microtonal composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893 - 1979).

The Arditti Quartet of London, champions of Wyschnegradsky’s works and leading contemporary music interpreters, plays a program of US premieres of the composer’s music, as well as a string quartet by Georg Friedrich Haas, an admirer of Wyschnegradsky. Festival 24 concludes on June 15 and 16 with two final performances: a large-scale world premiere by American composer Brian Baumbusch and a second showcase of works by Wyschnegradsky.

From the Diablo Ballet, we talk with artistic director and co-founder Lauren Jonas, about the world premiere of Once Upon a Time by choreographer Julia Adams, on March 22-23 at the Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Drive) in Walnut Creek. 

Once Upon a Time is an adventure ballet in which a young man unwittingly becomes the male lead in several fairy tales, including Snow White, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood. The score features Gershwin's An American in Paris and Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra,  performed live by the Contra Costa Wind Symphony, conducted by Brad Hogarth, who will be joining the conversation. 

Plus, we talk to Joyce Keil, artistic director and co-founder of the Ragazzi Boys Chorus, about their collaboration with the girls of iSing Silicon Valley and the Copenhagen Girls’ Choir in a concert with the title Friends From Near and Far on Saturday, March 23 (8pm) at St. Ignatius Church (650 Parker Ave) in San Francisco. 

The performance features Kim Nyberg’s Gallop of Fire, written to commemorate the wildfires that ravaged California last year. The concert also includes Salut Printemps by Claude Debussy; and César Franck’s Panis Angelicus, performed by all three groups. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe; heard live on Thursday, March 21 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…