Arts and Entertainment

There’s a great slate of music, theater and storytelling coming to entertain us until summer

Las Cafeteras

The holidays are over, but winter is still here – and will be for quite some time. If you’re not big on the outdoors, what’s left to look forward to now that we’ve wrapped up the celebrations?

The performing arts, that’s what. While there’s nothing wrong with a little binge-watching on Hulu or Netflix, too much couch time (and snack time) can’t be good for you physically or mentally.

Fortunately, there’s a great slate of music, theater and storytelling to entertain us until springtime. If you’re sick of the sight of your own four walls, have a look at some of your other options.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances take place at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and all tickets are available through CenterTix (907-263-2267).

January

Jan. 4-5: The Alaska Overnighters — Each night you’ll see shows that didn’t exist the day before. Alaska writers are given topics and required to turn in short plays within 12 hours; local actors then rehearse the shows and present them in batches. Show time is 8 p.m. both nights; tickets are $12, available at the door.

Jan. 4: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at 1 and 3 p.m. every other Saturday through May 2 at the Anchorage Museum. On Jan. 4, you’ll see Russian stories performed. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

Jan. 10-26: “An Enemy of the People” — Arthur Miller adapted Henrik Ibsen’s play about a man who tries to protect fellow citizens against a public health threat, only to have everyone turn against him. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Valley Performing Arts, 251 W. Swanson Ave., Wasilla. (907-373-0195; valleyperformingarts.org)

Jan. 11: Silent Film Night (with the Anchorage Symphony) — The orchestra presents live accompaniment to a pair of silent classics, Buster Keaton’s “Sherlock Jr.” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Pawnshop.” Show time is 8 p.m. (anchoragesymphony.instantencore.com)

Jan. 17-18: International Guitar Night — Acoustic guitar solos, duets and quartets with Mike Dawes, Olli Soikkeli (who last appeared here in 2017 with Rhythm Future Quartet), Cenk Erdogan and Jim “Kimo” West. Show time is 7:30 p.m. (anchorageconcerts.org)

Jan. 18: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at the Anchorage Museum. On Jan. 18, watch as Australian tales are performed at 1 and 3 p.m. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

Jan. 24: Las Cafeteras — This ensemble from East Los Angeles has been called a “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock.” With traditional instruments and a modern outlook, the band performs in English and Spanish. Show time is 7:30 p.m. (anchorageconcerts.org)

Jan. 25: Anchorage Symphony — In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the symphony presents “Moonrise,” a film of lunar imagery and NASA visualizations, set to Ravel’s orchestral suites from “Daphnis and Chloe.” The orchestra will also perform Elgar’s “Cockaigne (In London Town)” and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1. Show time is 8 p.m. (anchoragesymphony.instantencore.com)

Jan. 31: Kalani Pe’a — The Hawaiian singer, a two-time Grammy winner, performs “Hawaiian contemporary soul” – a mix of traditional sounds, R&B and roots music. Show time is 7:30 p.m. (anchorageconcerts.org)

February

Feb. 1: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. On Feb. 1, the theater is all about China. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

Feb. 1: The Capitol Steps presents “The Lyin’ Kings” — This political satire ensemble prides itself on putting the “mock” in “democracy,” with songs and sketches like “The Battle Hymn of the Tea Public” and “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea?” However, the needling is bipartisan so both sides can laugh. Show time is 7:30 p.m. (anchorageconcerts.org)

Feb. 7: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (with the Anchorage Symphony) — The film that started it all will be screened along with a live performance of the film’s soundtrack. Show time is 7:30 p.m. (anchoragesymphony.instantencore.com)

Feb. 7-9: Alaska Airlines Winter Classics — Featured artists the Ariel Quartet will perform Beethoven string quartets, plus works by Bartok, Shostakovich, Mozart and Tan Dun. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8 and 4 p.m. Feb. 9 at the UAA Recital Hall. (sitkamusicfestival.org)

Feb. 7-March 1: “Emma” — A modern adaptation of the Jane Austen tale about a clever young would-be matchmaker whose good intentions cause problems. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Cyrano’s, 3800 DeBarr Road (907-274-2599; cyranos.org)

Feb. 13: The Moth Mainstage — Storytelling done live and without notes; this show features nationally known performers and also tales from local storytellers. Show time is 7:30 p.m. (centertix.net)

Feb. 14-16: “Frida” — Anchorage Opera presents the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo as a mix of opera, Mexican folkloric music, Broadway/musical theater stylings and mariachi-style orchestration. Show times are 8 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15 and 4 p.m. Feb. 16. (anchorageopera.org)

Feb. 14-March 1: “Always … Patsy Cline” — This tribute to the country singer is Anchorage Community Theatre’s second musical of the 2019-20 season. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at ACT, 1133 E. 70th Ave. (907-344-4713) (actalaska.org)

Feb. 14-March 1: “The Cemetery Club” — A trio of nice Jewish widows meet monthly for tea and a visit to their husbands’ graves. Their temperaments are different, but they get along – until a man enters the picture. Will their circle remain unbroken? Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Valley Performing Arts, 251 W. Swanson Ave., Wasilla. Note: Dinner theater performances of “The Cemetery Club” will take place March 5-7 at Evangelo’s Restaurant. (373-0195; valleyperformingarts.org)

Feb. 15: The Doo Wop Project — Actors from the Broadway hits “Jersey Boys” and “Motown: The Musical” perform the songs (and dance moves) of performers such as The Flamingos, The Temptation, The Four Seasons and Smokey Robinson, and also give a doo-wop take on modern acts like Maroon 5, Jason Mraz and the late Amy Winehouse. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. On Feb. 15, Caribbean tales will be enacted. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

Feb. 18-23: “Chicago” — Winner of six Tony Awards and a Grammy, it’s the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. The satirical story of murder, media and other misdeeds in the Windy City features songs like “All That Jazz,” “The Cell Block Tango” and “When You’re Good to Mama.” Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays.

Feb. 21-22: “Liebeslieder” — The Anchorage Chamber Singers perform – you guessed it – love songs stretching from the Renaissance to today. The highlight will be Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes. Show time is 8 p.m. (alaskachambersingers.org)

Feb. 28: Twisted Pine — This string band has been praised for its “upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms; (and) virtuosic solos,” in genres that include folk, bluegrass, funk and vintage radio pop. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 28-March 8: “Silent Sky” — Perseverance Theatre brings to life the story of Henrietta Leavitt, a female “computer” who worked at Harvard Observatory in 1900 and who had to fight for a place in man’s world of astronomy. Show times are 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. (ptalaska.org)

Feb. 29: Mat-Su Concert Band — The community band presents its midwinter concert at 7 p.m. in the Glenn Massay Theatre, 8295 E. College Drive, Palmer. (907-360-0628; matsuconcertband.org)

Feb. 29: Anchorage Symphony — “Musical Fantasies” is the theme of this program of works by Vaughan Williams, Johan De Meij and Karl Pasch (the ASO’s principal clarinetist). Show time is 8 p.m.

March

March 1: “The Cemetery Club” (see above).

March 1-8: “Silent Sky” (see above)

March 3: Anchorage Youth Orchestra — Young local musicians present their “Winter Celebration Concert,” featuring the winners of two AYO competitions. Show time is 7 p.m. (alaskayouthorchestras.org)

March 6: The Portland Cello Project — The innovative string ensemble will focus on the music of Prince, playing his music and also music that Prince influenced. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

March 7: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. On March 7, the performers will present theater based on Irish stories. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

March 7: PUBLIQuartet — This genre-bending group of string players incorporate classical, jazz, world music and improve elements to produce chamber music for the modern world. You’ve never heard anything like this. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

March 13: Music City Hit Makers: The Songs, Their Stories, A Symphony — You love their songs as performed by artists like Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney, but now you have a chance to hear the songwriters perform their works – backed by musicians from the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

March 20-29: “Hello, Dolly!” — TBA Theatre presents this classic musical about matchmaker Dolly Gallagher-Levi. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at the UAA Williamson Auditorium. (907-677-7529)

March 20-April 5: “Noises Off” — Valley Performing Arts takes on one of the funniest and most intricately staged farces ever written. The plot follows a group of actors rehearsing a comedy and taking it on the road. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays (some Saturday matinees may be scheduled) in the Glenn Massay Theatre, 8295 E. College Drive, Palmer. (907-373-0195)

March 21: Eileen Ivers — The original musical star of “Riverdance” has won the All-Ireland Fiddle Championship nine times. The Grammy winner, who grew up in the Bronx, plays music rooted in Celtic melody but mixes in world music as well. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

March 21: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. On March 21, you’ll see stories about Japan. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

March 27-April 19: “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” — This comedy is set in 1956, during the annual meeting of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein. The show won the “Best Overall Production” award at the NYC International Fringe Festival. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Cyrano’s, 3800 DeBarr Road (907-274-2599)

March 28: Omnis Terra — The Anchorage Concert Chorus presents the Alaska premiere of two contemporary choral works, “Stabat Mater” by Karl Jenkins and “Jubilate Deo” by Dan Forrest. While based on Latin religious texts, the composers use melodies and instrumentation from multiple cultures and lyrics in eight languages. Show time is 8 p.m. (anchorageconcertchorus.org)

March 28: Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio — Don’t expect to hear classical tunes, unless you consider vintage soul to be the true classic. Do expect to hear R&B, soul and funk influences along with those soul sounds. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

April

April 2-5: “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” (see above)

April 3-5: “Noises Off” (see above).

April 4: Ensemble Mik Nawooj — This Oakland ensemble is a mashup of old and new: opera and hip-hop. With classical instruments and rhymes from MCs, it’s been called “the cutting edge of hip-hop.” Show time is 7:30 p.m.

April 4: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. On April 4, you’ll see tales from the American West. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

April 4: Anchorage Symphony Orchestra — The season finale features Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie Overture,” three works by Debussy, and a trumpet concerto by Vivian Fung. Guest artists are sopranos Kara Guggenmos and Katy Green, mezzo Gabrielle Pierle, and the concert choirs of Dimond, Bartlett, and South and West Anchorage high schools. Show time is 8 p.m.

April 9-12: “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” (see above)

April 10: We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. — Pianist and composer Damien Sneed takes listeners through “the soundtrack to the civil rights movement,” with songs incorporating gospel, jazz, soul, classical and Broadway influences. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

April 16-19: “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” (see above)

April 17-19: “Tosca” — Anchorage Opera presents Puccini’s soaring story of ill-fated love during a time of war and chaos in Rome. Show times are 8 p.m. April 17 and 18 and 4 p.m. April 19. Performed

April 18: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. Every other Saturday, stories from a variety of cultures will be presented as plays at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. On April 18, the performers will present a show based on Polynesian stories. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

April 21-26: “The King and I” — Set in 1960s Bangkok, this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical involves a British teacher who is hired to teach the king’s children. Some of the more memorable tunes are “Shall We Dance,” “Getting to Know You” and “Whistle a Happy Tune.” Show times are for this Anchorage Concert Association show are 7:30 p.m. April 22-23, 8 p.m. April 24, 2 and 8 p.m. April 25, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 26.

April 24-May 17: “Unnecessary Farce” — Anchorage Community Theatre closes the season with a farce about the police trying to catch an embezzling mayor red-handed. The show is recommended for teens and adults. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at ACT, 1133 E. 70th Ave. (344-4713)

April 25: Meow Meow — With her awe- and fear-inspiring attitude, the comedian-singer-postmodern diva is often recommended for anyone who loves onstage chaos and sass a la Pink Martini, Liza Minnelli or Bette Midler. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

May

May 1-10: “If” — TBA Theatre presents the world premiere of a fantasy co-written by six Alaska writers. It’s the story of a young teen from Valdez who heads to the Alaska wilderness with her imaginary friend. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at APU Grant Hall. (677-7529)

May 1-17: “Unnecessary Farce” (see above).

May 2: “The Velveteen Rabbit” — Alaska Junior Theatre brings The Pushcart Players to Anchorage for this classic story of a boy and his toy bunny. Show time is 2 p.m. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

May 2: The Piano Guys — Think you know what a piano can do? Think again. Expect a melding of classical and pop – everything from Bruno Mars to Bach to BTS. All this and a cellist too! Show times are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

May 2: Storytelling Saturday Theatre. The final installment of the storytelling-as-theater series is a play based a retelling of a favorite Yup’ik story. Hear it at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. Free with paid admission or membership; request free tickets at theatre@anchoragemuseum.org.

May 2: Mat-Su Concert Band — The band performs its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Glenn Massay Theatre, 8295 E. College Drive, Palmer. (360-0628)

May 8-31: “Ripcord” — This comedy about two elderly women sharing a place in a senior living facility has been described as “‘The Golden Girls’ meets ‘The Odd Couple’.” But things take a darker turn when a harmless bet turns into a competition between the women. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Cyrano’s, 3800 DeBarr Road (274-2599)

May 10: Anchorage Youth Orchestra — “The Maestro’s 30th Concert” celebrates music director Linn Weeda’s dedication to the AYO, with the Bruch Concerto and Beethoven’s Fifth. Show time is 3 p.m.


Editor’s note: This story has been edited to clarify the information about Storytelling Saturdays at the Anchorage Museum.






Donna Freedman

Freelance writer Donna Freedman is a veteran Alaska journalist who has written for the Anchorage Daily News and many other publications. She blogs about money and midlife at DonnaFreedman.com.

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