Having recorded for such esteemed labels as Columbia Masterworks and Koch International Classics, Orchestra New England showcases masterful musicianship through performances of works by classical, romantic, and modern composers throughout the year. A yearly celebration of the sounds and sages of the baroque era, Baroquefest 2011 will feature guest harpsichordist Linda Skernick and selections such as Bach's Concerto in A Minor and Telemann's Tafelmusik III. "Soiree" explores the music of Vienna in the 1920s, as the orchestra will perform Schoenberg's arrangements of Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun, Mahler's Symphony no. 4, and excerpts from Thomas Edison's short-lived heavy metal band, The Draconian Lightbülbs. The premiere of a new work by composer-in-residence Mark Kuss, "Sounds. Distant." explores community displacement in China and features native Chinese musicians. The "Sounds. Distant." concert will also feature performances of works by Ives, Elgar, Bartok, Schubert, and more.
In the evening, Grand Restaurant/Lounge caters to the foodie set, serving upscale bar food amid elegant minimalist decor. Later at night, an array of colored lights begins to glow beneath stairs, along windows, and in the eyes of visiting Terminators. DJs crank up the volume while bartenders sling cocktails below supernova-like chandeliers, but intimate clusters of armchairs provide a respite from the carnival on the dance floor. As they lounge, diners can savor dishes such as lobster ravioli or burgers topped with deviled eggs or fig-balsamic glaze.
Currently led by musical director Eckart Preu, the 60-piece Stamford Symphony appeals to both classical connoisseurs and orchestral novices with its exciting blend of professionalism, intricate musicality, and pure entertainment. Featuring cello virtuoso Jan Vogler, "Romantic Souls" will touch on the emotions of passion and repression with performances of pieces by Schoenberg, Tchaikovsky, and Schubert. Creating music that's described as "rapturously heartfelt" by the Washington Post, Vogler comes to the Stamford Symphony after having performed with the New York Philharmonic and premiered English composer Colin Matthews’ Berceuse for Dresden. Hear the exquisite sounds of Vogler's 1721 Montagnana Ex-Hekking cello, an instrument known for its age and for its foreboding "Lute is Dead" engraving. Check Stamford Center for the Arts' website for available seating.
Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
The Girl Spot offers a women-only pole-based approach to fitness that falls outside the humdrum routines of the average gym experience. Combining kinetic fun and an intense workout, pole fitness tempers and tones core muscles, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and provides a female-centric feel-good environment far removed from the trash-talking ellipticals and gossipy barbells that fill most studio spaces.
The chuckle connoisseurs at Treehouse Comedy Productions have brought laugh-worthy comics to their stages for more than 25 years, giving an audience to future standup-comedy legends such as Rosie O'Donnell, John Stewart, and Jay Leno. Treehouse continues its commitment to busting guts with a calendar of upcoming shows that includes Comedy Central veteran Bill Santiago (April 6–7), who brings a neurotic edge while reflecting on growing up as a Puerto Rican in New York. Kevin Downey, Jr. (April 13–14), on the other hand, cracks macabre one-liners delivered with a distinctively belligerent yell that has been featured on HBO and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Mike P. Burton (April 27), erstwhile warm-up guy for Rachel Ray, uses a sensibility molded by a childhood in the South and an adulthood in New York to launch hilarious jeremiads about children, relationships, and society's foibles.