NAC Corner

New season brings variety of music, film
9.25.2010

The Norwich Arts Center will unveil new seasons of events this October, beginning with NAC’s First Friday Live Sounds in the Donald L. Oat Theater. 

Broadway hits, jazz standards and classic rock. This may sound like a playlist from an episode of “Glee,” but it’s what audiences can expect from a live performance of Cabaret2Go, the debut act in NAC’s First Friday Live Sounds line-up at the Donald L. Oat Theater.

The 2010-11 season of this once exclusively-jazz monthly series now embraces a full diversity of music genres and performing artists. An historic theater with handsome architecture, the Oat provides an atmospheric, intimate venue for the eclectic lineup, which is slated to include Celtic fiddle, American songbook, bluegrass, an experimental acoustic duo and the wildly popular jump-and-jive maestros Eight To The Bar. Cabaret-style seating is divided into tables of eight and each event is BYOB, so bring wine, delicious nibbles and friends. 

Cabaret2Go

Starting the season is Cabaret2Go, a unique ensemble of three vocalists, a pianist/vocalist and a percussionist who bring their lively act on the road to various restaurants, theaters, private parties and special events. This group has been entertaining audiences throughout Connecticut with their exciting vocal arrangements, tight harmonies and inventive staging. Their repertoire includes musical theater, jazz, classic rock and contemporary favorites. Cabaret2Go, featuring Erin Sousa-Stanley, Christian Stanley, Dan Healy and Christine Shogren, grew out of the post-show cabaret that followed main stage plays at the Majestic Rose Dinner Theater in Norwich. They last performed in 2005 on the Donald L. Oat stage.

The season runs from October to May and all events take place at 8 p.m. on the First Friday of the month. Tickets to most concerts are $20. Patrons can also take advantage of the many art galleries in the Chelsea Arts District that have opening receptions on First Fridays starting at 6 p.m., including the NAC Gallery downstairs.

Community Cinema

The Norwich Community Cinema, which opened in June 2009, has been working diligently to expand its offerings. In addition to indie films on the second Saturday of the month, 4th Friday Foreign Films were added in January. An NFA grant and an invitation to use the Frank Center on the high school’s campus brought a new crop of films to Norwich, including “The Price of Sugar,” paired with guest speaker Dr. Tony Alessi. This foreign documentary brought a full house and produced donations of more than $400 for a local Haitian relief group.

The NCC’s affiliation with NAC has made it possible to screen films at the Donald L. Oat Theater. The smaller, more intimate space seats 110.

In June, the NCC began investigating a new venture, partnering with PBS as a community cinema to show free, award-winning documentaries, on the third Thursday of the month, followed by guest speakers. We also began in earnest to plan a free outdoor family movie for early September which attracted more than 150 people on Chelsea Parade.

The NCC is researching short films to accompany the second Saturday indie films. These are rarely seen “shorts” made by up-and-coming directors from around the world. We are also making plans to screen shorts made by film school students. Part of our mission is to bring the works of unknown filmmakers to our cinema, along with indie films not shown in the multiplex movie houses. The next screening is “Kisses” at  7:30 p.m. Oct. 9.

We rely on sponsorships and ticket sales for funding. Volunteers are needed to help with publicity, movie nights and fundraising. Because we share or rent space, we must occasionally work around scheduling conflicts. The best way to check our movie schedule is our website, www.norwichcinema.org, where viewers can also sign up to receive our e-blasts.

-Joe Matovic & Sandy Quarto

 

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