Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Noises Off Highlights January Events At THE BLACK BOX

The comedy hit Noises Off highlights a full lineup of music and theatrical entertainment at THE BLACK BOX to kick off the New Year this January. A suburban hub for great music and the home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company, THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin.

Electric Youth 2018, the international touring ensemble of talented young singer-dancers, debuts at THE BLACK BOX on Friday, January 5, with two shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Offering family entertainment for all ages, the group is backed by an eight-piece band of world-class musicians who have performed, recorded and toured with such music legends as Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, The Temptations and more. Electric Youth presents fully choreographed, high-energy music, including pop, classic rock, Broadway and country hits. Tickets are $26. Reservations for tables of 6 or more are available. Call (508) 528-3370 for table reservations after the group’s tickets have been purchased.

FPAC launches the 2018 Family Concert Series on January 7, at 1 p.m. with a program of Sunday Afternoon Blues, featuring Mark Poniatowski on bass, Sonya Rae Taylor on guitar/vocals, Joe Bargar on keys/vocals, Ed Scheer on drums/vocals and Bobby Gus on guitar. Showcasing talented, professional musicians in an engaging and entertaining format, Family Concert Series events are presented free to the community and are especially geared to children. Sponsored by Berry Insurance, the concerts provide young audiences with a fun introduction to the world of live music. The 2018 Family Concert Series continues next month with the New England Percussion Ensemble on February 4.

BLACK BOX Jazz presents the Tim Ray Trio at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 13. The ensemble features pianist Tim Ray, drummer Mark Walker and bassist John Lockwood. Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim Ray has appeared on over 70 recordings to date and is currently on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music. He has performed with pop music icons including Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt, and with leading jazz figures such as Gary Burton, Esperanza Spalding, Lewis Nash and Rufus Reid. 

BLACK BOX Jazz presents the Tim Ray Trio at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 13
BLACK BOX Jazz presents the Tim Ray Trio at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 13

Classical credits include concerts with Gunther Schuller, the Boston Pops, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Boston Classical Orchestra. The trio first played together backing alto great Greg Abate, including on Abate’s Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan’s album with the legendary Phil Woods. In 2016 Tim Ray released the jazz trio recording, Windows, featuring Lockwood and Walker. The CD showcases well-known songs penned by Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver, as well as Lockwood’s composition “12 by 7,” Ray’s originals “DE-Train” and “Joy,” and his innovative arrangements of Ellington’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” Monk’s “Monk’s Dream” and Chick Corea’s “Windows.” Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) presents the hysterical farce, Noises Off, on January 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and on January 21 at 2 p.m. Michael Frayn’s Noises Off takes a fond look at the follies of theatre folk, whose susceptibility to out-of-control egos, memory loss and passionate affairs turn every performance into a high-risk adventure. This play-within-a-play captures a touring theatre troupe’s production of Nothing On in three stages: dress rehearsal, the opening show, and a performance towards the end of a debilitating run. Frayne gives us a window into the inner workings of theatre behind the scenes, progressing from flubbed lines and missed cues in the dress rehearsal to mounting friction between cast members in the final performance. Brimming with slapstick comedy, Noises Off is a delightful backstage farce, complete with slamming doors, falling trousers, and – of course – flying sardines. Tickets are $26, with general seating.

THE BLACK BOX Classical Series presents violinist Irina Fainkichen and pianist Irina Kotlyar on Sunday, January 28, at 4 p.m. The program will include Beethoven’s Sonata No. 5 and selections by Tchaikovsky, Chausson and Piazolla. Tea service will be available in the lobby. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Irina Fainkichen is a member of Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, assistant concertmaster of Brockton Symphony Orchestra, and co-founder of “Flying Hearts” duo, which performs in a number of musical genres including jazz, Klezmer and classic American tunes. Born in Ukraine, Irina Kotlyar received degrees from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Israel. With Gregory Shifrin, the Kotlyar-Shifrin Piano Duo has won several international prizes and awards and has performed throughout Israel, Europe and America. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, with an additional $5 for the optional tea service.

For tickets and more information, visit www.THEBLACKBOXonline.com or call (508) 528-3370.

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