Author: Kevin Lee

MSO packs Saenger with Mahler classic

They might need to break out the crowbars at the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.) for the next Mobile Symphony Orchestra performance. That’s about what it will take to fit three choirs, two soloists and 100 orchestra musicians into the performance space. The occasion is MSO’s 20th anniversary and its first-ever staging of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony.” Its timing on March 24 and 25 — a week prior to Easter — likely had some bearing as well. Guests are the University of South Alabama Concert Choir, Mobile Opera Chorus, Eastern Shore Choral Society, soprano Martha Guth and mezzo-soprano...

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Theatrical spring blooms across midtown

The fresh and brilliant face of spring has spread across Mobile, and the same holds for our theatrical realm. Come late March, a flower right from Georgia O’Keeffe’s heart will blossom for a new theatrical troupe, Company 11 in the Center for Creative Living (60 N. Ann St.). It’s Eve Ensler’s Obie Award-winning 1996 work “The Vagina Monologues.” “We wanted to do plays some of the other theaters just aren’t able to do, edgier things they can’t stage because of their landlords or their clientele,” director Tania Radoslovich said. It’s plainly stated on the company’s website: “Our mission is...

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Solley-Wilson now atop ACAC

Alabama Contemporary Art Center’s board of directors has tapped current director of exhibitions and programs Amanda Solley-Wilson as its new executive director. The position has been vacant since Bob Sain resigned in December 2015. Solley-Wilson has been a key player in ACAC’s recent focus on Cuba and its artists. The current exhibit, “Back to Havana,” will be in place through June 1. “The arts are a community asset that can bring people together and provide them with a voice. This year and next we join organizations across the state in celebrating our bicentennial by recognizing our collective stories and writing new...

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Theater convention fills downtown

If you think downtown Mobile could stand a little more emotional highs and lows, with enhanced dramatics all around, then you’re in luck. You’ll have thousands of like-minded souls running its streets this week. The Southeastern Theatre Conference will hold its 69th annual convention in the Azalea City March 7-11 to bring the arts front and center for the greater part of a week. It will also fill hotel rooms as 5,500 attendees are expected. It’s the convention’s second visit to Mobile in the last five years. Though the prior date was on the heels of Mardi Gras, it...

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McCollough artwork donated to Dauphin Island Sea Lab

There’s a little bit more to meet the eye in the Richard Shelby Atrium of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab these days. A chance meeting between an area artist and a senior marine scientist paved the way. “The University of Alabama had a dinner and I ran into a Dr. Behzad Mortazavi from the Sea Lab staff. We just started talking and he asked about my art and I told him anytime he’s in Gulf Shores to just please stop in to my studio,” Susan McCollough said. Mortazavi and his wife took up the offer while on the other...

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Shakespeare springs to life as ballet

A mixture of literature, movement and music will bound into being when Mobile Ballet stages its rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on March 3 and 4. It will mark the premiere of the work in the Azalea City. Guest Artistic Director Katia Garza has run the cast of 40-plus dancers through their paces since work began in January. It wasn’t her first time with the 56-year-old source material. “About five years ago, I was asked by Orlando to do this for them. I re-choreographed it, then did it in Corpus Christi, too. This will be the fourth time...

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Art After Hours returns this month

It wasn’t terribly long ago that a regular feature of Mobile cultural life was a monthly get-together where arts world denizens would convene casually on the reg. All were welcome to a different arts venue each time for a laid-back happy hour filled with gnoshing, imbibing and disciplinary cross-pollination. Now Art After Hours will return on an every-other-month basis. The next is slated for Feb. 27, 5:30-7 p.m. at Sway Gallery (10 S. Conception St.). Attendees can enjoy complimentary wine, beer samples from Oasis Texas Brewing Co. and light appetizers while they learn about the local arts scene. For...

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Mobile native’s novel stirs courage and reflection

It’s not often the view through a single window offers so many vistas at once. However, that’s what author Colleen D. Scott has given readers in her debut effort. The Mobile native spent most of her adulthood balancing the corporate world with parenthood but her recent retirement prompted a return to an old love: literature. The product is her novel “Everybody Needs a Bridge,” a coming-of-age story aimed at the Young Adult (YA) market that hit racks Feb. 20. Through its story, readers are afforded a look across time, place and even into themselves by following its protagonist Erin...

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Mardi Gras kerfuffle misses the point

The streets are swept, the hangovers abated and the ashes have circled the bathtub drain. Adieu, Mardi Gras. Can we finally dispense of the ersatz “who had it first” argument over pre-Lenten parties in Mobile and New Orleans? Tourism mavens and media outlets alike gladly played the public to mine the teapot-sized tempest for selfish ends this year. I’m glad to say most folks in either locale just don’t care. Those who enjoy their respective celebrations are content with their decisions and anyone else’s for whatever criteria they choose. In short, they’re adults. “Live and let live” is about...

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HMPS tour needs docents

The Historic Mobile Preservation Society’s Celebrate Historic Mobile tour is on its way and needs docents for the various stops. The four-day, three-night event takes place March 8-11 and includes a gala reception at Oakleigh Mansion along with a comedy tour of Mobile’s early red-light district. This year’s events are titled “Sacred Spaces,” “Living Spaces” and “Resting Places.” The Thursday, March 8, tour includes various historic houses of worship. On Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, 18 private historic residences and inspired adaptive reuses will be open for touring. On Sunday, March 11, guided tours will be given...

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