Arts Scene: Bel Canto, 'Charley's Aunt', Sunjata Kamalenya

Arts Reporter
Traditional African performers present a public performance of Sunjata Kamalenya Saturday in the Discovery Theater.
The women of Bel Canto, accompanied by pianist Freya Wardlaw-Baile

Charley's Aunt

Anchorage Community Theatre is staging the classic farce "Charley's Aunt," a comedy that's been running more or less continuously for the past 120 years or so. Two beaus talk a friend into impersonating a wealthy dowager -- but then the real dowager shows up in person. Simple setup, constant laughs. Veteran Linda Benson and her son Nate co-direct a big cast that includes Todd Sherwood and Marty Baumann. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 16 at 1133 E. 70th Ave. Tickets, $15 for adults, are available at

Sunjata Kamalenya

Alaska Junior Theater hosts a troupe of traditional African performers in the epic about a Malian folk hero, with exciting music, dance, sets, costumes and storytelling. They've been performing for local school kids all week and will present one public performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Discovery Theatre. Tickets are available at

Bel Canto

The women of Bel Canto, accompanied by pianist Freya Wardlaw-Bailey, present "Not the Same Old Grind," a mix of skits and music by Mozart, Offenbach, Sondheim and Cole Porter, among other composers. The family-friendly show is free, with donations accepted to continue the series of community music programs of which this is a part. Showtime is 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Anchorage Lutheran Church, 1420 N St. If you miss it, there's an encore at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Alaska Museum of Science & Nature, 201 N. Bragaw St. That will cost $35 per person and includes wine, hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction. Call 240-1730 or email

Compiled by arts reporter
Mike Dunham