Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts

(804) 225-9000

600 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA | Directions   23219

37.541526 -77.437193

Open Hours

Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

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Categories: Theatres

Neighborhoods: City Center


From The Owners of Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts

From Broadway to opera, inspiration for theater lovers.

Reviews for Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts

over a year ago

2nd Annual CVJ Concert – The Central Virginia Jazz Orchestra has been performing around Richmond, VA for seven years and just keeps getting better. Last year's concert (on 3/27/2011) in Rhythm Hall at Center Stage featured the music of Frank Foster, who attended and was honored by Richmond's City Council with "Frank Foster Day" and the Richmond Jazz Society which printed the programs. It would be hard to top that concert, but this year's event was just as good. This venue is comfortable and has amazing acoustics plus the sound crew's efforts paid off, producing a quality session that deserves a five star review!

Director, Dan Borlawsky, (alto sax) put together a fine group of local players to perform a diverse selection of big band charts that thilled their audience on 3/25/2012. The rhythm section with Charlie Kilpatrick on piano and Carter Blough on bass grooved plus the horns were tight and the featured singers were icing on a musical cake. The program included an obscure composition by Sammy Nestico called "Marguarite" plus a beautiful ballad, "Chelsea Bridge" by Billy Strayhorn. Hank Levy's "Pegasus" is originally from the Stan Kenton library.

Next, Laura Ann Singh sang "Fly Me to the Moon" by Bart Howard and "Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me" by Duke Ellington. Her versions of these jazz standards prove that she is both a student of the genre and an original stylist. Johhny Mercer's "Laura" (from Dr. Zhivago) featured lead trumpeter, Larry Hart. Then Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night" featured drummer, Todd Woodson. These two players are magnificent examples of real professionalism!

The same thing can be said for Lawrence Olds, who presented Hoagy Carmichael's classic "Georgia" with an elegant ease plus "Day In, Day Out" with phrasing like Frank Sinatra's. Guitarist, Steve Young nimbly played the beginning of Johnny Mandel's "Emily" before the band waltzed away with the rest of the tune. An exciting variation of Sweet Georgia Brown called "Sweet Georgia Upside Down" was a good choice to end the first half.

During intermission there were drinks available from a bar and lots of high spirited conversation among the guests and the musicians. The performance space is just right for an ensemble and audience of this size. A good set deserved a good break. However, the next set was great fun because of the comraderie and the relaxed mood.

"No More Blues" by Antonio Carlos Jobim got the second half off to a great start because the arrangement called for wonderful dynamics from soft to loud plus the soloists used them to their advantage also. Lawrence Olds returned to the microphone for "Every Day (I have the Blues)" plus the ball room favorite "Where Or When". He can really swing and his voice has a deep, soulful resonance that appeals to any listener who can relate to loneliness and love.

An instrumental rendition of "Like Someone in Love" by Jimmy Van Heusen kept the musical energy up preceeding Laura Ann Singh's return for a couple of songs sung in Portugease. Brazilian music is her specialty and she totally demonstrated her artistry in "Doralice" and "Triste". Her sweet supple voice captured the nuances of the bossa nova while expressing some of the universal aspects of love and loneliness.

Rounding out the program was "Show Me the Way to Go Home" in several keys and the Tonight Show Band arrangement of Glenn Miller's hit, "In the Mood" as an encore. Tenor sax/flute player, Allen Burris took several notable solos throught the show as did that shaved headed trumpet player. Now I'm looking forward to next year. Bravo CVJO!

over a year ago

From Broadway to opera, inspiration for theater lovers. – Background
Reflecting life in the golden age of movies as the Richmond Loew's. Among the country's most elaborate theaters of the time, it was designed in the tradition of Radio City Music Hall as a "magnificent amphitheater under a glorious moonlight sky." The building fell on hard times before its renovation in 1983.

What to Expect
Now seating over 2,000, it plays host to Broadway touring companies, the Virginia Opera, the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Ballet and visiting pop and classical performers. The Center's main entrance leads to a semi-circular lobby around the theater. The lobby and great staircases, with their soft lighting and busy concessions, help you forget the traffic outside while rekindling the excitement of the downtown theater experience. The Carpenter Center is especially proud of its intricately ornate organ. Music from baroque to Charlie Chaplin resonates throughout the theater whenever it's played.


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