Shakespeares greatest comedy with a modern twist, the worlds best Queen cover band and Newfoundland folk-rock. Its another of those what will they think of next? kind of weeks at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
The fun begins tonight with the Aquila Theatre Co.s production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. The New York City-based troupe doesnt do a complete makeover of the comedy its still set in Athens and follows the Bards script but with a cast of just seven and a more modern delivery of the timeless comedic lines, the Aquila version is winning over critics from coast to coast. In the words of The New York Times, Aquila is a classically trained, modernly hip troupe.
Members of the troupe will hold a free discussion about the production at 6:30 p.m. today in the Vallecito Room in the Student Union Building.
Next up is One Night of Queen on Wednesday. Gary Mullen and his band The Works come as close to re-creating a classic 1970s Queen concert as, well, Queen did in the 1970s. And Mullens version isnt just another cover band, as the spectacle includes all the accoutrements of an Arena Rock-era concert right down to the staging and lighting.
Of course, none of it would work if Mullen didnt bear such an uncanny resemblance to Queens late lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Performing as the charismatic frontman, Mullen won the U.K.s version of American Idol, Stars in Their Eyes, in 2000 and within two years he had quit his job as a computer programmer and hit the road permanently.
Queen fans are familiar with the bands classics such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You, Killer Queen and Another One Bites the Dust, but few were able to see Mercury, one of rocks legendary front men, live before his death in 1991. Mullen brings him back to life with such accuracy its almost spooky. He has perfected the singers voice and movements, and captured his flamboyance and charisma, using every inch of the stage during the two-hour performance.
The Concert Hall crew will barely have time to restock the bar in time for Great Big Seas show Thursday night.
Though self-described as a folk band, Great Big Sea possesses the unmistakable sound of traditional Celtic music, but it also sounds very much like a contemporary rock band. The bands name comes from a traditional Newfoundland song about a tsunami (timely, yes, but the band was booked long before the recent troubles in Japan).
Founding members Sean McCann (guitar, vocals, tin whistle) and Bob Hallett (button accordion, fiddle, mandolin, concertina) met in the early 90s in a Newfoundland fishing village pub, which is a far cry from an idyllic seaside inn. The bars in that part of the world are rough and raucous, and the music made there is not for the faint of heart, either. The live performances are stand-up, foot-stomping affairs, the kind of music that inspires an old-fashioned, high-spirited pub brawl. But try to refrain from such behavior at the Concert Hall, please.
McCann and Hallett are joined by Alan Doyle on guitar, vocals and keyboard; Murray Foster on bass and Kris MacFarlane on drums. As a curious side note, Doyle appeared on-screen in Ridley Scotts 2010 movie version of Robin Hood as one of the Merry Men accompanying Russell Crowes title character.
Great Big Sea is currently touring in support of the bands 10th album, Safe Upon the Shore.