Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jun 5 2015, Page 46

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - June 5, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE D3 winnipegfreepress. com ENTERTAINMENT WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015 D 3 Directions Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes; cook until tender but still firm. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Before mashing potatoes, add cream cheese, salad dressing, cream and salt. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Serve immediately. Servings: 8 Metric Ingredients Imperial 2.5 kg red potatoes, peeled & cubed 5 lb 250g package cream cheese, softened 8oz 25g ranch dressing mix 1oz 50 ml heavy cream ( optional) 4 tbsp pinch of salt RANCH POTATOES No purchase necessary. Deadline for entries is noon on June 18, 2015. Winner will be contacted by phone and must correctly answer a time- limited, skill- testing question. Employees of the Winnipeg Free Press and participating sponsors are not eligible to win. This information is used only by the Winnipeg Free Press and is not sold, bartered, traded or given to any other parties. MY NEWS MY WAY ENTER TO WIN AT winnipegfreepress. com / contests WIN TICKETS AND TAKE DAD TO ENJOY CLASSIC HITS AND MORE FROM JOURNEY! FATHER’S DAY IS CO MING! If someone you know has Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, we’re here to help. Call 204- 943- 6622 or 1- 800- 378- 6699 or visit us online at alzheimer. mb. ca THOSE of a certain vintage will remember inscribing papery thin letters — now known simply as “ snail mail” — with heartfelt sentiments and perhaps even a confession or two expressing undying love for the object of one’s desires. The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra paid homage to bygone eras of letter writing during its final concert Wednesday night, while also looking firmly to the future with Canadian rising- star pianist Jan Lisiecki. Lauded by the New York Times for his “ pristine, lyrical and intelligent” artistry, the Calgary- born Lisiecki artist continues to dazzle audiences around the world. Now 20 years old, the Toronto- based phenom made his orchestral debut at nine, and notably signed a prestigious recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon at age 15. The concert featured one of his first recorded works, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26 in D Major, ( K 537), Coronation with his third local appearance since 2011 also notably drawing the largest audience of the MCO’s 2014- 15 season. The lanky artist took the stage after intermission to perform the Wunderkind’s four- movement piece composed in 1788. After conductor Anne Manson set a brisk tempo for the Allegro, Lisiecki immediately got down to the business at hand, performing with a poise and maturity well beyond his tender years. His clarity during the opening movement’s sparkling runs, matched by a bell- like tone during the subsequent Larghetto, had the crowd of 800 eagerly lapping up his every note. Every pristine note was perfectly placed where it needed to be, with Lisiecki clearly in command of his own vision. He was so engaged with his playing that at times he fairly rose from his piano bench, before attacking the keyboard with the stealthy power of a musical crouching tiger. In response to a thunderous ovation, the nattily attired, bow- tied pianist treated the crowd to a zesty encore of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca from Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, KV 331 , that also asserted his growing status as Canada’s very own wunderkind. The program opened with the world première of Canadian composer Dorothy Chang’s Of Fragments and Dreams , described by Manson as “ delicate fragments of memories, wistfully recalled.” Its five short, evocative movements unfold as microcosmic worlds of colour and texture, riddled through with nostalgia. Chang’s strong use of gestural language includes buzzing sul ponticello effects and glassy harmonics. The third movement teems with swooping portamenti and fragile pizzicati, while the final section included concertmaster Karl Stobbe’s melancholic solo. The concert also included the world première of Michael Oesterle’s string orchestra arrangement of Leos Janacek’s String Quartet No. 2, Intimate Letters . The MCO similarly performed his orchestral transcription of the Czech composer’s String Quartet No. 1, Kreutzer Sonata last March. Inspired by the 700- plus love letters that Janacek wrote to his beloved, albeit very happily married Kamila Stosslova — and 37 years his junior — Intimate Letters is a densely crafted, four- movement piece bristling with intensity and emotional volatility. It is a work more to be admired than really embraced, as it lurches from one passionate moment to the next. Only principal violist Daniel Scholz’s effective, brief solo passages that represent Stosslova’s mellifluous voice offered reprieve, as did the more lilting “ lullaby” for the couple’s imagined child that comprises its third movement. Hearing the string quartet piece played by an orchestra brought new fulsomeness to the work, yet detracted from its intended intimacy as a chamber work. While the performance did not lead to the usual standing ovation, the players’ fearless conviction and ability to navigate through the piece’s knotty textures is still to be commended, if not exactly inspiring unabashed love. holly. harris@ shaw. ca T HE original 1957 musical West Side Story was described by New York Times critic Walter Kerr as “ savage, restless, electrifying” with “ intolerable tension.” Those are not the words that can be applied to the Rainbow Stage revival, which opened Thursday, or any contemporary reboot. The legendary stage spectacle — with musical by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by the then- unknown Stephen Sondheim, book by Arthur Laurents and overall vision and choreography by Jerome Robbins — is more preserved than alive. The story that turns Romeo and Juliet into a modern tragedy of New York street gangs — which dares to kill off two young men by intermission — has lost the visceral impact it had almost 60 years ago. A culture of violence constructed with illegal drugs, deadly and easily available weapons and deeply rooted ethnic hatred have rendered some of musical’s dialogue almost quaint, if not corny. All except one, the bigoted police lieutenant Schrank, whose character appears to have been ripped from today’s headlines. He can barely hide his racist attitude towards the Sharks, a Hispanic gang battling over turf with the Jets, the American crew. Recent violence in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore make clear that the racist issues at the heart of West Side Story continue to simmer just below the surface in the United States and erupt in a flash. The musical’s stop- the- madness message has been drowned out by gunfire and police sirens. West Side Story is one of the musicals — along with Hair , Rent and Grease — that brought a fresh wave of youthful passion to the stage. That adrenaline- infused energy of youth needs to be reflected on stage, and some of the hoodlums on Rainbow’s stage are probably a decade past their best- before dates. Other fresh- faced teens lack any suggestion of menace. Are these gangbangers heading for a violent throwdown or a Royal Winnipeg Ballet audition? The musical works best when everyone shuts up and dances. In its day, West Side Story broke ground for conveying so much of its story through dance, and it speaks most forcibly here when Robbins’ original choreography is performed by an energetic 32- member cast directed by Tracey Flye, a longtime choreographer. The opening image of leaping, finger- snapping street toughs still quickens the pulse. Dance leads here to some of the best scenes, including a sensational performance of the joyful immigrant song America , by Kimberley- Ann Truong and Nicole Power, who plays zesty Anita. Also compelling is the second- act dream ballet, in which lovers doomed by bloodshed between their gangs momentarily glimpse a perfect world in which everyone lives in harmony. The appeal of the story is very much the appeal of the great Shakespeare tragedy it is based on, Romeo and Juliet . Laurents transposes the Shakespearean tragedy from fair Verona to New York’s working- class Upper West Side. Jamie Plummer’s set design, dominated by shadowy concrete alleys, is only serviceable. It is in that concrete jungle that Tony and Maria — with ridiculous speed — meet, fall in love and plan to marry. Their tender, taboo romance — between a former Jet and the sister of the Sharks leader — ignites the lethal rumble. Their young love, surrounded by the scourge of bigotry, faces long odds. There is some disappointment that two white actors are playing the lovers in a show dealing with racial prejudice. Kaylee Harwood’s casting as a sweet Maria becomes understandable when her angelic soprano is heard. Her charming I Feel Pretty captured the rapture of being in love for the first time. Her Polish- American beau Tony is played by Jordan Bell, who looks preppy enough for Glee but not a knife fight. While he doesn’t exude any toughness, Bell passes with flying colours the enormous vocal range required of the role and his ability to convincingly pull off love at first sight. Harwood and Bell duet beautifully together. Power gives the role of Anita, Maria’s sharp- tongued girlfriend, its fiery due, especially in the duet with Maria, A Boy Like That/ I Have a Love and the rape scene. Peter Huck brought the appropriate macho swagger to the part of Bernardo, but he was delinquent in looking juvenile. Alison Roberts stepped forward into the spotlight to sing a stirring Somewhere . Bernstein’s score has lost none of its power to thrill and was expertly performed by a 20- member orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Huard. The music, the kinetic dancing and a stage full of great voices still goes a long way to remind us what it means to be young in an urban jungle. kevin. prokosh@ freepress. mb. ca KEVIN PROKOSH Theatre Review West Side Story . Rainbow Stage . To June 19 . Tickets: $ 39/$ 55/$ 65 at 204- 989- 0888, www. rainbow stage. ca š š š 1 . 2 out of five Once- electrifying musical out of power Gang violence, bigotry remain relevant themes, but 1957 groundbreaker now just a quaint relic MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS West Side Story works best at Rainbow Stage when the talking stops and the dancing starts. MUSIC MATTERS HOLLY HARRIS Canadian wunderkind pianist wows MCO crowd Concert Review Jan Lisiecki with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra . June 3 . Westminster United Church . Attendance: 800 š š š š 1 . 2 out of five D_ 03_ Jun- 05- 15_ PP_ 01. indd D3 6/ 4/ 15 3: 07: 44 PM

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