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Zombies donate to fire relief effort

Posted by Joel Brown August 25, 2012 12:56 PM

Baby zombieA fire at 95 Columbia St. in Cambridge left a bunch of folks homeless this week, and now the zombies from New Exhibition Room are helping to raise money for the victims.

A few weeks back I wrote a Globe column about New Exhibition Room's "Zombie Double Feature," a darkly comic summer extravaganza of two gore-soaked zombie plays ("Terror at BPT" and "Last Night Cabaret") at Boston Playwrights' Theatre. One of the rotating lineup of musicians in the show was among those left homeless by the fire, and apparently several other artists of various stripes with ties to the troupe are also among the victims. There's a Facebook page for those who want to help them.

But all in-person ticket sales to tonight's 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. "Zombie Double Feature" performances will be donated to the cause, and the zombies will be taking up a collection as well. More details here.

Pictured: Omar Robinson and Greer Rooney with Baby Zombie in "Terror at BPT." Photo courtesy New Exhibtion Room.

Originally published on the blog

September music in JP, on Ray Charles

Posted by Joel Brown August 16, 2012 03:11 PM

Jp-music-festival-logo-comboSeptember shapes up as an interesting musical month around town. Some 24 acts have signed on for the second annual FREE Jamaica Plain Music Festival at Pinebank Field on Saturday, Sept. 8th, from noon to 7 p.m. Boston rock stalwart and co-organizer of the festival Rick Berlin is on the bill fronting the Nickel & Dime Band, but the lineup on two stages is so diverse as to defy representative sampling. I'll try anyway: Mariachi Mexamerica meets the Jamaica Plain Symphony Orchestra meets Lovewhip meets the Whiskey Boys. And many more.

Ray_Charles_(cropped)Meanwhile, Berklee College of Music is gearing up for Inspired By Ray: the Ray Charles Symposium, Sept. 21-23, celebrating the genius and influence of the singer-pianist-arranger-composer-bandleader and all around happening man. Presented by Berklee's American Roots Music Program, the event will include academic discussion of Charles's astonishingly diverse output. Charles made everything from country to jazz to rock gospel to to soul his own, and let's not forget "America The Beautiful," either.

There is, of course, a concert involved. inspiRAYtion: A Tribute to Ray Charles is set for Saturday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, with an appropriately diverse lineup including Ricky Skaggs, John Scofield, Raul Midon and Charles's former music director Victor Vanacore, among many. I'm told a few Raeletts will also be performing: Tonette McKinney, Renee Georges, and Katrina Harper. Tickets, $15-$35, are available here. Or for $100, you can sign on for the symposium and the conference here.

Ray Charles photo by Alan Light used under a Creative Commons license.

Originally published on the blog

"Passion Play" around town

Posted by Joel Brown August 1, 2012 01:07 PM

Passion play press shots final-13 (Large)Usually the Boston premiere of a Sarah Ruhl play would come from one of our city's established troupes, but this month's "Passion Play" is the work of the Newton-based Circuit Theatre Company, made up of theater students from colleges around the country. “Passion Play” tells the story of three communities producing the Passion: one in Elizabethan England, one in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power, and one in South Dakota in recent years.

My favorite part is that a single actress portrays Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, and Ronald Reagan. But others may be more intrigued to learn that the cast of 12 will play and sing all of the music and create all of the sound effects for the piece live on stage, which they say is the first time that's been done.

Students from schools like Brown and Johns Hopkins are in the group, as well as a few local high schoolers. This is their third summer, but their first production outside of their base in Newton. The show actually premiered over the weekend at the Davis Square Theatre.

Tickets are $15 for performances tonight through Friday at the YMCA Theatre in Cambridge's Central Square and Aug. 10-11 (the latter a matinee) at the Old South Church’s Gordon Chapel. Prices are $12/$18 for the closing performance, which is at Oberon in Harvard Square on Aug. 12. Tickets and info at

Originally published on the blog

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Joel Brown is a regular contributor to The Boston Globe and writes the blog. Catch his tweets between posts at More »

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