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‘Rent’ 20th Anniversary Tour - Brahms Requiem - Frameline 43 - Stanford Rep Summer Festival

Carol Rosegg

This week on Open Air, KALW’s weekly radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, host David Latulippe talks with actors Lyndie Moe (pictured) and Xavier McKinnon, who play Maureen and Bennie in the 20th anniversary tour of the musical Rent, in town for only two weeks, at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre (through June 23). 

Rent, which won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is loosely based on Puccini's opera La Bohème. The story follows a group of impoverished young artists, struggling to survive in Lower Manhattan's East Village. 

From the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra (BCCO), we talk with music director Ming Luke and assistant conductor Julia Morris, about the ensemble’s performances of A German Requiem, Op. 45, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Concerts are on June 21 (8pm), 22 (3pm), and 23 (3pm) at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Soprano Ellen Leslie and baritone Andrew Pardini are the featured soloists. BCCO opens the concert with Brahms' Tragic Overture

Ming Luke and his 240-member symphonic chorus and orchestra will take this program on their 2019 European tour (June 25-July 7), through the Baltic states and Sweden, with concerts scheduled in Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Stockholm (Sweden). 

Also stopping by is Peter L. Stein, senior programmer for the 43d annual edition of Frameline, San Francisco’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, which takes place from June 20-30 in movie theaters in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. 

Frameline is the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema. This year’s slate includes 59 films screening for the first time in the US, including 22 world premieres, 8 international premieres, 12 North American premieres, and 17 US premieres.

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, talks with theater professor and artistic director of the Stanford Repertory Theater (SRT), Rush Rehm, about the company’s 21st annual summer festival, Environment and Social Justice, organized in partnership with Planet Earth Arts, from July 11-August 11.  

The festival features three original works: Voices of the Earth: From Sophocles to Rachel Carson and beyond… (a compilation of voices on humans and the natural world); Polar Bears, Black Boys & Prairie-Fringed Orchids (a play in which well-meaning environmentalists confront the tragic realities of Black Lives Matter); and Anna Considers Mars (the poignant story of a young woman who dreams of being chosen for a one-way journey to Mars).

The summer festival also includes the first Planet Earth Arts Environmental Film Festival, with discussions and talkbacks among filmmakers, Stanford faculty, and special guests featured in the films.

Open Air with host David Latulippe; broadcast live on Thursday, June 20 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…