The neighborhood’s Christmas celebrations will get the marquee treatment on Monday as the Boston Classical Orchestra and local partners stage a special holiday concert at the landmark Strand Theatre. The family-friendly show is billed as a neighborhood-wide effort, with special performances by the Boston City Singers and the the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy Choir and string ensembles.
Sean Roberts, a Jones Hill resident who serves as the executive director of the Boston Classical Orchestra, says that the show will fill a void in the neighborhood’s celebration of the Christmas season.
“We want to provide a special, family occasion for residents in Dorchester and surrounding neighborhoods, a true Dorchester-wide event,” Roberts said. “Tickets are priced at only $5 for unreserved seating, so everyone can come and choose their seat.” Read more
Mayor Tom Menino’s dream of “saving” Dorchester’s Strand Theatre is admirable. His administration has pumped some $8 million into the Columbia Road facility to date and plans to spend at least another $2 million on renovations in the next fiscal year.
Menino has a grand vision for the Strand, but sadly, his deputies have so far failed to deliver on Menino’s promise to make the Uphams Corner landmark a busy, viable performing arts center. Read more
Aug. 25, 2010
After $8 million in renovations, Strand site unused 10 months a year; bustling '90s now a memory
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino says the proudest moment of his political career took place last year at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester when more than a thousand people, of all races, faiths and ages, locals as well as out-of-towners, turned out over two nights to attend the play “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
The mayor has given two of his State of the City addresses at the Strand and his commitment to the theatre goes beyond the rhetorical. He has channeled $10 million in city funds in an effort to return the Strand, the last neighborhood theatre in the city, to its early 20th-century glory.
But Menino’s enthusiasm for the Strand has not extended to his administration’s stewardship of the Uphams Corner fixture – even though it has become one of the city’s costliest neighborhood initiatives.
Despite the extensive renovations, usage of the theatre has fallen dramatically in recent years. Read more
Aug. 25, 2010
At 14 years old, Vanessa Lindo took the stage for the first time in her life at the Strand Theatre. As the newest member of the Strand Teen Players, Lindo, a Jamaican immigrant living in Dorchester, saw a new world open before her eyes.
“We got on stage and started singing, me and 30 other kids,” she recalls. “I was so nervous, I stood in the back like a statue.”
Since her first stage performance, a lot has changed for Lindo, now 30 and known in Boston art circles as Akiba Abaka. She has found her voice and works as producing artistic director of Up You Mighty Race, an award-winning African theater ensemble and youth mentoring group. Read more
As they did last year, the Boston Childrenâ€™s Chorus (BCC) will hold its end-of-the-year concert at the Strand Theater in Uphams Corner. Co-sponsored by the City of Boston, this special season-wrapping performance will take place Saturday, May 30 from 2 to 4 pm. It is free and open to the public. Read more
The Strand Theatre may be on the verge of a breakout year, with a flurry of new productions set to take to the refurbished Uphams Corner stage in the coming months.
The Menino administration, which has led an ambitious effort to re-cast the historic, city-owned theatre as an urban arts destination, have fingers crossed that names like Reuben Studdard and Mozart will bring music-lovers back to Columbia Road.
Stoddard, the 2003 American Idol champion, leads the cast of "Ain't Misbehavin'" onto Columbia Road for a two-day run in April. Read more