Arts Make the Best Gifts
It is gift-giving time, Hanukkah and Christmas.
Books and the arts on DVD and CDs make some of the best gifts, but good gifts aren't always "things." Gifts of experience are special in their own way.
The Appalachian Performing Arts Program has two good possibilities coming up, and tickets to either or both would provide treasured experiences.
On Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players will perform The Pirates of Penzance at 8 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium in Boone.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, the Appalachian Performing Arts Series will present "An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin" at 8 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium in Boone.
Tomlin is widely considered one of America's foremost comediennes. She's received numerous awards: six Emmys, a Tony for her one-woman Broadway show, Appearing Nitely, a second Tony as Best Actress, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for her one-woman show, The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, a Cable Ace Award for executive producing the film The Search, Grammy awards and nominations for This is a Recording, Modern Scream, And That's the Truth, and On Stage, and two Peabody Awards.
An evening with Lily Tomlin is a first-rate experience, and a rare gift. Call (828) 262-4046 or 800-841-ARTS for information and tickets.
In Greensboro, Triad Stage is presenting Boone native Preston Lane's Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity, with original music by Laurelynn Dosett, through Dec. 23. The play is back for the fourth year by popular demand, and this will be the last year it will be performed for some time. There are matinee performances both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Triad Stage is located at 232 S. Elm St. in Greensboro. For more information or tickets, phone (336) 272-0160, or visit http://www.triadstage.org.
Tickets to productions at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va., (either season or individual performances) are always welcome gifts. Call (276) 628-3991 for schedule and ticket information or consult http://www.bartertheatre.com
MerleFest is coming up, and tickets are already on sale for both the season and individual days. For tickets and information, call (800) 343-7857 or visit http://www.merlefest.org.
DVDs and CDs
The Tennessee Williams Film Collection is available from Warner Bros. Home Video. Extras include documentaries, expert commentaries, extensive stage to screen Streetcar chronicles with film/audio outtakes, spotlights on Marlon Brando, vintage radio show, and a feature length Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey.
Films in the box set include: A Streetcar Named Desire 2-Disc Special Edition, featuring the director's cut which includes the director's cut), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Deluxe Edition, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night of the Iguana, Baby Doll and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
A bonus disc available only in this collection is Tennessee Williams' South. This rarely seen profile shows the playwright recalling his life and touring his haunts in New Orleans and Key West. Dramatization by top actors give immediacy to his writing. Williams' own talk on screen is mesmerizing.
"Nobody's perfect," except Billy Wilder - a sentiment evident in the Billy Wilder Film Collection. With a career that spanned more than 50 years and a legacy of over 60 films from classic film noir to the "funniest movie ever made," Billy Wilder is a rare motion picture icon. For one film, he alone won four Academy Awards.
This boxed collection contains four of his most popular, prize-winning comedies from Hollywood's golden age. Some Like it Hot: Special Edition, voted by the American Film Institute Funniest Movie with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon (Academy Award nomination); The Apartment, winner of five Academy Awards, with Jack Lemmon, Fred MacMurray and Shirley MacLaine; Kiss Me, Stupid with Dean Martin and Kim Novak; and The Fortune Cookie with Walter Matthau (Oscar winner) and Jack Lemmon.
Add for yourself alone Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, film noir at its best and a marvelous picture of the movie-making business. The Billy Wilder Collection comes from MGM.
Gone with the Wind was released in 1939, widely considered cinema's biggest year, and a comprehensive 70th anniversary edition is now available from Warner Home Video, including a making-of documentary and a bounty of other features.
Sony Legacy boasts a favorite with Dolly Parton in four CDs that trace her career from her first recordings to her recent Broadway show 9 to 5.
For DVDs in the arts and history, Kultur is an ideal source, for gifts for others or oneself. The group has a rich collection of classical music, as well as history and art history. Its Broadway Theatre Archives has been hailed by The New York Times as "the crown jewel of public and network television."
Prime choices include the superb 1966 television adaptation by Arthur Miller of his Pulitzer Prize-winning tragedy, Death of a Salesman, starring Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock re-creating their original Broadway roles as the Lomans.
Laurence Olivier's performance in Shakespeare's King Lear is a collector's item. "Olivier has scaled the greatness of this role" in the Emmy Award winning production critically acclaimed as a performance as great as anything he has ever done in his illustrious acting career. King Lear proved to be Olivier's final major screen role.
Among Kultur's DVD concerts, there is jazz from Count Basie at Carnegie Hall, The Royal Ellington Concert, and Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, and A Salute to Jelly Roll Morton by the Dukes of Dixieland.
There are performances, including B.B. King at Nick's, which proves we are watching a legend in action, Elvis: The Birth of Rock and Roll and Why Elvis? A Profile; Hoagy Carmichael: His Life and His Music; Carnegie Hall at 100: A Place of Dreams; The Judy Garland Collection-a 4 DVD Box Set and Judy Garland Live at the London Palladium with Liza Minnelli and Judy, Frank and Dean: Once in a Lifetime; Patsy Cline: Remembering Patsy; and Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave, among others.
For information or to order online, visit http://www.kulturfilms.com.