Five compete for Uphams art display commission

Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 16, 2014

An 18-month partnership between the Boston Foundation, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and several community-based partnerships has led to a public art installation competition in Uphams Corner.

The Uphams Corner Art Commission project drew 29 applicants from across the nation, a roster that has been narrowed to five local artists, artist teams, artisans, and architects. The finalists were chosen by a panel of monthly advisor groups composed of residents, community stakeholders, and MBTA officials.  Read more

Musical salute to Dr. King will feature Boston Children’s Chorus

During his often-quoted “I Have a Dream” speech, civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the following musical metaphor: “With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”

Given the slain leader’s knowledge of and appreciation for music, tributes to Dr. King have often included musical selections ranging from classical pieces that he learned to love from his piano teacher mother Alberta and from his Boston Conservatory-educated wife Coretta to beloved spirituals and hymns such as “Balm in Gilead” and “Take Me By the Hand, Precious Lord.”  Read more

‘Oh, Yo-Yo Ma, the pipes, the pipes are calling…’

The famed cellist Yo Yo-Ma performed at the inauguration of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Jan. 6 at Boston College’s Conte Forum. From left: Johnny Walsh, Mary Walsh, Mayor Walsh, Lorrie Higgins, Yo-Yo Ma, and Rev. Ray Hammond. Photo by Chris Lovett

One of the more memorable moments of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s inauguration ceremony at Boston College’s Conte Forum on Jan. 6 occurred during a musical interlude featuring Yo-Yo Ma, the 59-year-old Chinese American cellist who lives in Cambridge. Many in the audience anticipated that Ma might seek to tickle the mayor-elect’s Irish heartstrings, given that the official program book promised a “traditional Irish melody” as part of his medley, which also included George Crumb’s Toccata and Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3.

As he took the stage, more than a few boyos in the forum were elbowing each other with wisecracks of the “Yeah, Marty’s a huge Yo-Yo Ma fan” variety. But, when Ma eased into his interpretation of the mournful ballad “Danny Boy” — the smart talk ceased and the deep breaths began.  Read more

Nine Dot youngsters have roles in Jose Mateo’s ‘Nutcracker’ tour

Nutcracker: Dancer Elisabeth Scherer, who grew up in Dorchester, performs as the Snow Queen in Joe Mateo Theatre Company’s The Nutcracker.  Photo by Karen Wong  Nutcracker: Dancer Elisabeth Scherer, who grew up in Dorchester, performs as the Snow Queen in Joe Mateo Theatre Company’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Karen Wong This week, six-year-old Roberta Owens-Pearl, who attends the Condon School, will be among nine young Dorchester residents charming audiences in the José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s (JMBT) 26th Anniversary “Nutcracker” Tour, which, after stints in Duxbury and Cambridge, will end up at the Strand. Roberta will be appearing on the same stage that her father, George S. Pearl, Jr., and her namesake grandmother appeared on in a 1991 production of a Tyler-Perry-ish torn-between-two-worlds drama.

Now her Blue Hill Avenue neighbors and other Dot residents will get to see Owens-Pearl and the rest of this acclaimed company that first performed at the Strand in 1987. Generous funding means more than a thousand people will see the show for free. With support from ArtPlace America and the Kresge Foundation, the Boston Foundation has partnered with key leaders in Uphams Corner to fund cultural groups including JMBT through ArtPlace Uphams Corner.

Hundreds of complimentary tickets are being given to such Dot groups as Dorchester House, Lena Park CDC, Project R.I.G.H.T., Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts, Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester as well as to the Mattapan Community Health Center.  Read more

Youth share stage with stars in Urban Nutcracker

Ella Moye-Gibbons, Empress Nordeus, Megan Nguyen, Zayda Adams, Kaitlyn Nguyen are among the seven young dancers from Dorchester who are performing in the Urban Nutcracker this season. Not pictured are Kyre Ambrose and Hope Williams.

“Since I was little I liked to dance. It shows me who I am,” says Zayda Adams one of seven Dorchester youth who successfully auditioned to appear in this year’s Urban Nutcracker.

Featuring more than 30 professional dancers and 75 youth, the Urban Nutcracker is living up to its theme of “celebrating dance meets diversity,” particularly for those Dorchester youth relishing the experience of live performance side by side with stars.

A showcase for ballet, hip-hop, tap and flamenco, the Urban Nutcracker is showing through December 22 at John Hancock Hall. Discounted tickets are available at or can be purchased at the door.  Read more

Strand fit for ‘Little Princess’; Seats for $10 offered to Dot residents

Sirena Abalian stars as Sara Crewe and Jared Dixon as Pasko in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” at the Strand Theatre, Nov. 21-Dec. 8.Sirena Abalian stars as Sara Crewe and Jared Dixon as Pasko in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” at the Strand Theatre, Nov. 21-Dec. 8.

Opening Thursday night at the Strand is a lavish musical that ends with Queen Victoria herself saving the day and declaring “anyone can be a princess.” Young ladies may find that this revival of the 2004 musical “A Little Princess” lends wings to their dreams of tiaras and coaches, but three black Dorchester males are reporting that it is giving them practical experience in re-enacting their African roots.

The Nov. 21 show is the first of 14 performances of “A Little Princess” as presented by the Fiddlehead Theatre Company, declared earlier this year by Mayor Menino as the 2013-14 resident theatre company of the Strand. This “heart-felt musical for the whole family” runs through December 8. Fiddlehead is offering a special discount $10 for Dot residents this weekend only; those interested should check with the box office.

Last year Fiddlehead proved it could mount a Broadway-sized production in Uphams Corner when, with assistance from the Boston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, it staged the hit show “Ragtime.” In addition to garnering respectable reviews, Fiddlehead’s “Ragtime” averaged 550 spectators a night over its 12-performance run, selling out a few times and breaking even over all by attracting large multiethnic audiences.  Read more

Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” at the Strand

Nov. 4, 2013

Boston Baroque's Orchestra will present a free concert on Sunday at the Strand Theatre.

In sync with Boston Baroque's exciting 40th Anniversary Season, the Grammy-nominated orchestra will present a free concert at the historic 1400-seat Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road in Dorchester on Sun., Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. The concert, sponsored and hosted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and the City of Boston's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events is also made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Free For All Concert Fund.  Read more

‘State of Grace’ captures city’s post-bombing spirit

Nat Anglin, a 28-year-old rapper who performs as “Natural,” long ago made the streets of Boston his musical muse. His songs and videos are liberally laced with B-caps and big-ups to Big Papi. Natural belongs to a school of homegrown MCs who rep Boston with conscious abandon – knowing full well that such boosterism could stymie some national break-out moment.

It’s never fazed Anglin, a Milton-reared baseball player and fan with deep Dorchester roots who works part-time as a bartender and teacher. When bombs blew apart lives and limbs on Boylston Street last April, Anglin didn’t have to conjure up some abstract artistic connection to the carnage.  Read more

Spotlight’s on visual art in weekend’s Open Studios

Dorchester Open Studios: April Clay is one of several artists exhibiting at the Walter Baker Artists Lofts in Lower Mills this weekend. Image courtesy DACDorchester Open Studios: April Clay is one of several artists exhibiting at the Walter Baker Artists Lofts in Lower Mills this weekend. Image courtesy DAC
This weekend the new board of the Dorchester Arts Collaborative (DAC) is opening several new venues and tweaking some old traditions during the 2013 Dorchester Open Studios (DOS), which showcase the creative spirit of the visual and performing artists of the city’s largest neighborhood. All 15 sites will be open noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday (October 19 and 20) during this 12th annual DOS.

“This year’s Dorchester Open Studios promises to be one of the best we’ve seen in many years. We’re excited at the opportunity of having several new sites exhibit the works of local artists,” says J. Gustavo, DAC Board President. “My commitment to the success of Open Studios and Dorchester artists is but a simple representation of Dot pride and community collaboration that is expressed across our entire board of directors.”  Read more

Strand hosts star-crossed lovers: Romeo and Juliet now on stage

Jason Bowen and Julie Ann Earls star in the Actors’ Shakespeare Project production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, now being staged at the Strand Theatre through November 3. Photo by Stratton McCrady

“As a person of color and as an actress, I can say, ‘It’s always nice when you’re at the theater to see a little something of yourself up on the stage.’ ”

At least that’s the experience of Codman Square resident Miranda Craigwell, who will be playing Lady Capulet as the Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP) returns to Uphams Corner this weekend for a month-long, multiracial production of “Romeo and Juliet.”  Read more