‘Penny Dreadful’ is a wickedly fun monster mashup

Patti LuPone
The Washington Post

“Penny Dreadful” is often praised as a scary and literary horror/mystery mashup, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to watching. I assume most Express readers haven’t either. Last season, the weekly audience was around 600,000.

Season 3 has just begun (10 p.m. Sundays on Showtime) and the premium cable channel was nice enough to stream the premiere free online. So I figured, maybe it’s time to take a look. And it appears that things in 1892, when the show takes place, were even worse than in 2016. ... »

With DECLASSIFIED, Storm Large, Hudson Shad, and the National Symphony Go a Little Out of the Box

Storm Large
Broadway World

The first clue that I wouldn't be attending your average National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) concert was the Carnivalesque show being performed outside the Kennedy Center Concert Hall as pre-show entertainment for ticketed patrons (I was told there was also a photo booth/fortune-teller upstairs). A diverse crowd of young and old alike took it all in with drinks in hand. An evening of entertainment entitled DECLASSIFIED was certainly just that. Comprised of three major musical selections or groupings - Richard Rodgers' "Carousel Waltz;" Brecht and Weill's THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, featuring vocals by Pink Martini's eclectic songstress Storm Large and theHudson Shad vocal quartet; and a series of original and well-known cabaret songs that Storm selected herself - the concert was unlike many others I have attended at the Kennedy Center. A little bit of this and that, a little bit zany and off-kilter, there was something for everyone to enjoy. After the concert, patrons could enjoy a bit of karaoke where - as indicated by the sounds I heard as I was leaving - anyone and everyone could take a stab at singing some well-known and beloved pop rock tunes.

While I personally was not completely enraptured by THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, it was musically satisfying. Large and Hudson Shad delivered fine vocal performances, backed by the always spectacular symphony. Equipped with a more than pleasant vocal tone, quite solid technique, and a commanding stage presence, Ms. Large did all she possibly could to interpret the story for contemporary audiences. While a seasoned stage actress might have been able to pull out some of the nuances a bit more over the course of the thirty or so minutes, there's no question that she was vocally on point and had the personality to make it work. The delightful harmonies of Hudson Shad enriched the performance even more. Wilbur Pauley's (bass) exquisitely full and rich vocals were decidedly an asset in filling out the harmonies, and props must be given to him for taking on some of the other roles necessary to tell the story. ... »

Utah Symphony shows versatility in return to Carnegie Hall

Colin Currie
New York Classical Review

The concert opened with Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 in D major, the so-called “Miracle” Symphony, one of the wonderful symphonies the composer wrote late in his life while staying in London. The nickname isn’t a testimony of devotion but comes from a likely apocryphal tale about a giant chandelier falling during the 1791 premiere and injuring no one as the enthusiastic audience had crowded the stage.

The Utah strings dominated the textures throughout the evening. Thierry had all Utah Symphony players except the cellists stand, Classical style, for the duration of the piece. Perhaps it’s somehow true that – as with singers and bank tellers –  musicians are better able to do their jobs when on their feet. The lines were clear and played with spirit in the opening movement and in the alternating dance and battle march of the Andante second movement. Perhaps that physical stamina contributed to the polite applause after every movement.

The orchestra, now seated, gave the New York premiere of the young American composer Andrew Norman’s Switch.

From the opening seconds, Norman’s fast-paced percussion concerto had the dramatic tension of a John Carpenter score, even before soloist Colin Currie sprinted onstage and leapt into place behind an expansive assemblage of toms, snares, cymbals, congas and a marimba.

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