Worth a Look
Publication Date: Friday Nov 21, 1997

Worth a Look

Opera

One-woman show

West Bay Opera will hold the first of three concerts comprising "The Sunlight Series" at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, at Grace Lutheran Church, 3149 Waverly St., Palo Alto.

The concert is a one-woman show featuring Marta Johansen as famed 19th century diva and composer Pauline Viardot-Garcia, who at one time was a household name throughout Europe. Her intimate circle embraced Chopin, Liszt, Rossini, Dickens, Gounod, Corot and Delacroix--in short, everyone who was anyone in Paris and London at that time. In Russia, Viardot was mobbed by an adoring public, yet later reviled as the temptress for whom the great novelist Ivan Turgenev abandoned his country.

The Georgia Smith-written work features Robert Schwartz on the piano and costumes by Richard Battle. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 424-9999.

Classical

In memory

Marking their seventh annual collaboration, the Stanford Symphonic Chorus and the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra are performing Verdi's "Requiem Mass" at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, in Stanford University's Memorial Church. Written in 1873 after the death of the famous Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni, Verdi's highly operatic "Requiem" is, in the words of Peninsula Symphony director Mitchell Sardou Klein, "one of the most thrilling, moving and heartfelt works ever written for these forces." The Peninsula Symphony Orchestra and the 240-voice Stanford Symphonic Chorus will be accompanied by four soloists: soprano Margo Sherelle Alexander, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Lane, tenor Stephen Guggenheim and baritone Douglas Lawrence. Tickets are $15 regular, $8 students. For more information, call 725-ARTS.

Bach and more

The Albany Consort, a Palo Alto/Sunnyvale-based early music ensemble, will be joining forces with several Palo Alto musicians for its next concert, a potluck fund-raiser, at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto. The program consists of popular works, mostly by J.S. Bach, for soloists and orchestra. The works include the Brandenburg Concertos No. 2 and 3, the famous double violin concerto, and the exquisite cantata No. 209. Musicians include sisters Karen and Heather Bentley, Victoria Gunn and Karl Bennion. There is no admission charge. Any donation is accepted. For more information, call (408) 773-0375.

@caption:Kate MacKenzie performs Nov. 22 at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church.

Bluegrass

From Lake Wobegon to Palo Alto

Kate MacKenzie, called "Minnesota's finest country singer," performs a Palo Alto Bluegrass Series show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church, 505 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto. MacKenzie's beautiful voice is known worldwide thanks to her appearances on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" radio show, where she's been a Lake Wobegon regular for over 15 years.

She started on "Prairie Home Companion" performing as lead singer in the bluegrass band Stoney Lonesome and more recently has been one quarter of the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, along with Keillor and Robin and Linda Williams.

MacKenzie has toured extensively in many countries, has appeared on the "Austin City Limits" television show and has played the Strawberry Music Festival. MacKenzie brings along Oregon's Out of the Blue on this Saturday's bluegrass ride into Palo Alto. Tickets are $15 in advance; $17 at the door. For more information, call 691-9982.

@caption:Seven Mary Three rock The Edge on Nov. 23.

Rock

From the land of Mickey Mouse

Seven Mary Three is a rock band with a sense of humor. For instance, the first date listed on the young band's chronologically-organized biography is 1947, with the explanation--"future bandmates are part of an elaborate cover-up concerning an aerial crash near Roswell, New Mexico."

Further proof of a mischievous sense of humor? The band, which hits The Edge, 260 California Ave., Palo Alto, on Sunday, Nov. 23, once showed up to perform on the David Letterman show--even though they weren't invited. Finally, they provide the measurement of how far they traveled on their first tour--in yards. Yup, 203 shows and 70,550,960 yards.

The humor ends when the music begins. The Orlando-rooted band performs some seriously enjoyable hard music that harkens back to the glory days of early '90s grunge rock. Seven Mary Three quickly made a name for itself in late '95 with their major-label debut "American Standard." The catchy single "Cumbersome" struck a nerve and began its journey up the charts.

It turned out to be a very merry Christmas 1995 for Seven Mary Three. During that week, "Cumbersome" soared to No. 1 on Billboard's rock charts, beginning a five-week stand.

Now the band is back, touring in support of a second album, "RockCrown," and The Edge gig should be a hard-rocking evening of major air-guitar-playing and head-banging. The Honeyrods open the show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance. For more information, call 324-EDGE.

@caption:Willy Claflin offers a family show of comedy and music at the Palo Alto Cultural Center on Nov. 22.

For the family

Mother Moose, Rocky, Bill Buffalo and pals

Master storyteller and puppeteer, Willy Claflin offers a family show of comedy and music for both parents and kids at the Palo Alto Cultural Center, 1313 Newell Road, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22.

A recording artist as well as a performer, Claflin is a two-time winner of the prestigious Notable Children's Recording award from the American Library Association. "The Wolf Under the Bed," Claflin's latest recording, has just been awarded the Parents' Choice award and was praised in the November issue of School Library Journal as "an exceptionally fine recording for schools, public libraries, car trips and campfires."

Claflin entertains with a zany mix of folk tales, tall tales, story-songs, puppetry and music. Guest stars include: Maynard, a confused moose who tells scrambled Mother Moose tales; Rocky, a fourth-grade raccoon songwriter whose tunes were heard on the KidsAmerican radio program; Bill Buffalo, a famed bison baritone; and Gorf, a bullfrog, fly swatter and percussion master.

Tickets are $6 general; $4 children and seniors. For more information, call 329-2527.

@caption:Evgen Bavcar's "A Dream of Motion"

Exhibit

'Nostalgia for the Light'

Photographs by blind "iconographer" Evgen Bavcar are on display in "Nostalgia for the Light," which continues through Jan. 11 at the Palo Alto Cultural Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. Admission is free. For more information, call 329-2366. 

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