Art Beat: New 'Nutcracker' will leap into Anchorage from Cincinnati

Mike Dunham
Anchorage Concert Association

This year's Anchorage Concert Association presentation of "The Nutcracker," coming to Atwood Concert Hall at the end of this week, will feature a new production from Cincinnati Ballet.

We haven't seen it yet, but the Cincinnati Enquirer called the $2 million production "a keeper" and praised its humor, surprises and "occasionally eye-popping" aspects. Reviewer David Lyman said the choreography provides adult cast members with "unabashed balletic grandeur" and also "really does justice to the oodles of kids" in the show.

In Anchorage, those oodles will be local kids. Performances will take place at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23 and 24, and 1 and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. Tickets are available at


Bruckner at 78 rpm

My review of the Nov. 10 performance by the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is posted online at In a nutshell, conductor Randall Craig Fleischer led Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 as fast as I've ever heard it -- maybe as fast as anyone's ever heard it. The performance could have used more string sound in places, but went well overall thanks to good work from the winds and brass. Soloist Elmar Oliveira's rendering of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto was especially sweet, a delight to hear.

Apparently the review is being copied somewhere on the Internet and dated Nov. 11, 2011 -- a year before the performance. Although some critics have written reviews of concerts before they take place, I am not that prescient. The date on the ArtSnob blog is correct.


Last day for food drive

For the past 10 years, artist James Havens has given away an art print to participants in a local food drive. This year's print is an Iditarod racing team under the northern lights and, while supplies last, Havens will sign a free copy for those donating three bags of groceries. Havens Studio puts the value of the limited edition at $475. He's been at the Fred Meyer store on Northern Lights since Friday and will be there Sunday starting at noon.


Two Dangers in new movie

Alaska stuntman and pro wrestling dude Nick "Repoman" Danger led the stunt team for the big grand finale fight scene in the latest edition of the "Killjoy" film series -- with help from his son Wolfgang. "Killjoy Goes to Hell," now available on DVD and Redbox, follows the humorous and violent adventures of a demonic clown. And yes, it is jam packed with action stunts. From the trailer, it appears that the outskirts of the underworld are filled with really nasty circus types and axe-wielding barbarians, among other hellions. The feature is unrated.


Sneak preview

Anchorage musician Laura Oden is working on a new album and has just posted the first song, "Alchemy," on her website. If you like it, perhaps you can help finance the cost of producing the whole set. Oden says she started the online fundraising effort a week ago and has so far come up with one-third of the $10,000 goal. You can hear the Joni Mitchellesque singer live at the Pioneer Bar at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, as well as at "I'll be posting new songs there as they're done and in particular while I'm trying to raise funds," she says.




Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.