Pick of the Crop's spring harvest consists of premieres by New York City dancer Terry Creach, Britain's Caroline Oxenham and the company's artistic director, Elaine Gardner. Regular attendees of Pick of the Crop performances will recognize Creach's name: He and partner Stephen Koester performed "The As Usual Dance" at its November performance. Creach's work for four dancers will culminate a month-long residency in Buffalo.
Oxenham now lives in New York City and recently completed a residency with the ensemble. Her "Treading Chasms" is described as an ethereal duet for women based on American composer George Crumb's haunting "Vox Balaenae" ("Voices of Whales"). Gardner's work is based on the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke and set to an original score by the Pick's music director, Curt Steinzor, and a set by Franklin LaVoie.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in Buffalo State College's Rockwell Hall Auditorium.
-- Nicole Peradotto
The premiere of Buffalo composer David Butler's "Nocturne for String Orchestra" will be one of the features of the season's final concert in the Red Jacket Series at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Trocaire College. Performing in the Mount Mercy Convent Chapel will be the resident Ars Nova Musicians Chamber Orchestra conducted by Marylouise Nanna. Sharing the spotlight will be baritone Daniel McCabe and the Church Musicians Guild Festival Choir, directed by Mark DiGiampaolo, who join the orchestra in a performance of Vaughan Williams' superb, aptly named "Five Mystical Songs," set to the mystical poetry of George Herbert and particularly seasonal because of the first song, "Easter." Three other works for string orchestra complete the program: "Celestial Fantasy" by Alan Hovhaness, Morton Gould's "Spirituals" and Joaquin Turina's "La Oracion del Torero" (The Bullfighter's Prayer).
-- Herman Trotter
For 20 years now it has been with us as a cult phenomenon. First it was a British musical that died an ugly death over here, a stake driven through its heart by indifferent audiences. Then it re-emerged as a movie, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." That was 20 years ago. Let the cult begin. The movie still goes on for midnight showings everywhere, costumed attendees shouting the lines and throwing things. When it reverted to the stage once again as "The Rocky Horror Show," success followed. Summerfare Theatre is reviving the stage show starting Thursday in the Pfeifer Theatre, 681 Main St. Randall Kramer directs the show, Lynne Kurdziel-Formato is the choreographer, and Michael Hake is the music director. Playing Frank N. Furter is John Masse, Janien Nola is Janet, Brian Harkins is Riff Raff, Lisa Ludwig is Magenta, Loraine O'Donnell is Columbia, Dan MacDonald is Brad, Norm Sham is Eddie, Rick McDonald is Dr. Scott, Jeff Pagadum is Rocky, and John Fredo is the Narrator. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, at 7 and 10 p.m. Saturdays, through April 30.
-- Terry Doran
Chris LeDoux might be labeled a new-breed country singer, but he comes from the old school. LeDoux made his mark as a rodeo rider and cowboy before turning to music. The former world champion bareback bronc rider decided to get out of the saddle and onto the stage during the 1980s. LeDoux recorded 22 albums and sold $4 million worth of records. Then Garth Brooks paid tribute to LeDoux in a song Brooks wrote ("Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old"), and LeDoux was soon signed by Liberty Records. Now LeDoux is billed as a '90s version of a singing cowboy. Country music fans will be able to judge for themselves when LeDoux performs at 5 and 8 p.m. Sunday at How-Dee's.
-- Anthony Violanti