By George Basler With a title like The Motherf**ker with the Hat, audiences can probably guess they’re in for a brash, in-your-face evening. And the play, now being given an excellent production by Binghamton University’s Theater Department, is certainly that. But mixed in with the profanity and raw subject matter is a compelling story of flawed people stumbling through life as they cope with their inner demons. Performed in the intimate space of Studio A in the Fine Arts Building, the BU production is shockingly funny at some...Read more
Broome Arts Mirror
Reviewed by George Basler Back in 1960, Gore Vidal lobbed a grenade at American politics in the form of his satirical play The Best Man. While the intervening years have made the play seem positively quaint, it still packs some sting in a staged reading being performed this weekend by Southern Tier Actors Read (STAR) at the Phelps Mansion Museum in downtown Binghamton. The play is “somewhat of a period piece,” acknowledged Judy McMahon, STAR’s director, who is in the cast. That means dated. References to Joseph Alsop...Read more
Reviewed by George Basler Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a classic play that deals with the ideas of personal honor and mass hysteria. It is also considered a classic of American drama and, as such, is a much studied work. The downside of this distinction is that the word “classic” comes with its own baggage, making a play seem a daunting experience that is worthwhile, but not particularly inviting. But don’t let those feelings keep you away from The Ti-Ahwaga Community Players production, which opened this past weekend...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Heroism – that was the recurring theme of Saturday night’s season-opening concert of the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra at The Forum in Binghamton under the baton of principal guest conductor Daniel Hege. From the overture to William Tell by Rossini (about a folk hero) to Max Bruch’s passionate and romantic Concerto for Violin No. 1, Op. 26, in G Minor to a stellar performance of Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, the program spotlighted the orchestra’s top-notch talent and heroic stamina. By the end of the 45-minute long...Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Taking Sides, which opened Friday night (Sept. 30) at the Chenango River Theatre, is the perfect vehicle to showcase the supreme acting talents of Jim Wicker and James Wetzel. Portraying, respectively, world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and his post-World War II U.S. Army interrogator Major Arnold, the two are locked in mortal combat. You can’t take your eyes away from the carnage.Read more
A provocative 1995 Holocaust drama by Ronald Harwood, the chillingly witty play is a fictionalized...
UPDATE: A memorial service will be held Monday (Oct. 10) at The United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton, 42 Chenango St., Binghamton. Musical tributes will begin at 12:15 p.m. and the Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Celebration of the Life of Jonathan Biggers will begin at 1p.m. Binghamton University Music Department Chairman James Burns notified music faculty members today (Sept. 27) that longtime faculty member Jonathan Biggers had passed away suddenly. “We only learned of his death this afternoon, and details are still coming in,”...Read more