Comedy-hit ‘Tenor’ again this weekend; Shemekia was SRO | NevadaAppeal.com

Comedy-hit ‘Tenor’ again this weekend; Shemekia was SRO

Sam Bauman
Appeal entertainment editor

Last weekend was a weekend that was for the Brewery Arts Center. It really came into its own Friday with the opening of “Lend Me a Tenor” at the Donald W. Reynolds Theatre, repeated Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night, Shemekia Copeland was joined by her brilliant quartet. Both shows were sold out, which says something about the reputation that the Proscenium Players enjoy and the interest in the blues.

That old church never rocked and swayed as it did Saturday night. Copeland is billed as a blues lady, but there was soul and touches of rock in her night outing. She’s a powerful singer, moving our local audience to cheers and an ovation.

She was most ably backed by the quartet -Arthur Neilson on guitar, Kevin Jenkins on electronic bass, Damon DueWhite on percussion and Jeremy Baum on keyboards. Neilson really pushed things along, Jenkins and Damon DueWhite furnished a rock-solid beat and the keyboards were both melodic and percussive. A fine show and one that proves that the right talent will bring in the crowds.

“Lend Me a Tenor” marked the emergence of two fine comedic actors, Colin M. Coate (of “Blood Brothers”) and Jim DeZerga (Tevya in “Fiddler on the Roof”). Coate was a geeky straightman to DeZerga’s boffo opera singer. Joseph Paslov was the flustered impresario and Karen Chandler DeZerga’s very sexy girlfriend. Both showed they know comedy, particularly when Chandler shouts out, “I’m family!” to a stranger saying she was just a friend of the family. Dalia E. Gerdel is a sweet ingenue who does a classic underwear-clad love scene, and Cathy Stewart wrung laughs as the bellhop. Michon Chandler was slyly seductive and Carla J. Wilson was high-class opera lover. Show continues this weekend.

This weekend, Antsy McClain appears at the Performance Hall, and then on May 11, a dance fantasy “Unicorn, Gorgon and Maanticore” moves in.

If it weren’t for a jaunt to Death Valley this weekend, I’d be here for Rachel Ing’s piano magic with classic pieces. Ing appears at the Brewery Performance Hall at 2 p..m. Sunday.

MORE LOCAL MUSIC

The Carson City Symphony, led by David Bugli, plays Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Carson City Community Center, and on Sunday at 4 p.m., at the Oats Park Arts Center in Fallon.

Saxophonist Ashu will play “Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra” by Claude Debussy and “Fantasie” by Jules Demersseman. Not often that we get a sax soloist with the symphony. The program also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) and Gwyneth Walker’s “Concert Suite.”

Ashu, a Californian, is 24 and has won all kinds of musical competitions. He brings an exciting virtuosity along with body motion which adds to the entertainment.

Concert previews will precede each concert. Tickets are $12 and $10 for seniors, students, and Symphony Association members and free for children age 16 and under. Tickets are on sale at the Brewery Arts Center, Jeff’s Copy Express and Postage Plus in Fallon, at Activitytickets.com or at the door on the day of the performance. Call 883-4154.

PATTY LARKIN CD

Missed Miss Larkin at the Crystal Bay Casino last weekend, but she sent along a CD, “Red = Luck.” Much of her reputation is as a guitarist, but in this collection her singing is strong where needed, soft and gentle at other times. “These songs are suspended in time.” How lovely they are.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.