As 2014 unfolds milestones will emerge. For starters, this year marks the 450th anniversary of playwright William Shakespeare’s birth, and the 150th of concert and opera composer Richard Strauss. Look out for revivals of their works.
The Monterey County Herald has recently run numerous letters from readers calling for the City of Monterey to step up and purchase the Golden State Theater downtown. But that can’t be urgent, since the idea has been debated for, literally, decades. What is urgent is the unresolved crisis the MPC Theatre Company is facing. The Golden State is a building; it isn’t going anywhere. MPC Theatre Company is a living entity in a most precarious state of affairs, thanks to the huge budget shortfall at Monterey Peninsula College.
Our Philip Pearce reports that one of the outcomes of the January 23rd meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees was the formation of an advisory board, headed up by theater department chair Gary Bolen, tasked with raising funds. Bolen told Philip that an immediate short-term goal is “to raise enough to do a concert version of Oklahoma! this summer—which will, in itself, be a fund raiser for the coming year.” Koly McBride, of Paper Wing Theatre, told us she is advising people to “register for the theatre classes and ask everyone they know to do the same. Everyone should also be writing their CA state legislators and voice their opinions on change that is needed for the budget and regulations for smaller community colleges like MPC.” She adds “Keeping the pressure on this issue is paramount.”
Fran Spector’s SpectorDance in Marina is showcasing the work of six California choreographers this Saturday. They are Mads Eriksen (San Jose), Julie Mulvihill (Monterey), Marika Brussel (San Francisco), Stacey Printz (Corte Madera), Karl Schaffer (Santa Cruz) and Milissa Payne (San Francisco.) http://www.spectordance.org/
Printz Dance Project photo by Jeff Zender
The Monterey Museum of Art will launch a series of concerts at its La Mirada location on February 13 with piano four-hand arrangements of Brahms and Rachmaninoff featuring pianists Melinda Coffey and Mark Neiwirth. They will be joined by soprano Katherine Edison and bass-baritone Bob Armstead in songs by Dvořák, Schumann, Rodgers and Bernstein. The next performance in the series, on May 1, will feature Sal Ferrantelli’s I Cantori di Carmel. Museum members enjoy free admission. www.montereyart.org/
‘Classical music dead in America’-Slate
The S.T.A.R. Foundation announces latest grants
National Steinbeck Center: $3,000 for the Play-writing and Art of Storytelling Workshops as part of the Grapes of Wrath 75th Anniversary Celebration in May.
Occhiata Foundation: $10,000 for the in-school Day at the Opera program/Metropolitan Opera Cinema.
Alisal Center for the Fine Arts: $5,000 for theater program sound and lighting equipment.
Friends of Salinas Library: $1,750 for the Salinas Youth Poet Laureate Competition awards.
Arts Council for Monterey County: $6,500 to assist with national Poetry Out Loud program.
Sol Treasures, King City: $3,000 to assist with the orchestra program.
Salinas High School: $3,000 to enable students to participate in the California State Thespian Festival.
Pacific Repertory Theatre: $2,500 to fund San Francisco Opera Cinema high definition broadcasts.
The S.T.A.R. foundation accepts grant applications. www.starfoundationmc.org
Scott MacClelland, editor