Through Jan. 31: Angela Burks at Lipscomb's John C. Hutcheson Gallery

  • Angela Burks

Lipscomb has turned out to be the surprising underdog favorite among Nashville art lovers, and their 2014 exhibition schedule starts strong: Angela Burks, a similarly unassuming creative, is showing a series of recent paintings. Burks was educated at MTSU and Tulane, and now she teaches at Motlow State Community College in Smyrna. We've seen her past work at Twist, where she's deconstructed quilts covered in the glue meant to harden animal hide, or made portraits overpainted with motifs from vintage wallpaper and Christmas gift wrap. Her latest works are baroque-inspired still-life florals with dramatic compositions that inspire similar feelings of nostalgia masked in artifice. Burks will give a talk at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16. LH

Through Feb. 2: Othello at Belmont University's Troutt Theater

  • Photo: Jeff Frazier

Nashville Shakespeare Festival presents the Bard's classic tragedy, with Eddie George in the title role. (See the review here.)

Jan. 16: Dwight Garner at Vanderbilt

"It's harder than you might think to produce good writing about bad writing," Timothy Noah wrote on Slate, referring to the site's founding book editor, Dwight Garner. Noah was referring to Garner's work for The New York Times, and more specifically, to Garner's review of the Annie Proulx memoir Bird Cloud — "shelter porn with a side of highbrow salsa." Also harder than one might think: meeting the goal Garner set for himself as a critic. "I want to sound like I'm talking to a close, literate friend," he told Prospect in 2013. He pulls it off admirably. Meanwhile, Garner is currently at work on a biography of James Agee. 7 p.m. at Buttrick Hall 102 SH

Jan. 16: A Jolly Good Cello Fellow at Turner Hall

American composer Elliott Carter was famous (make that infamous) for writing music of extreme rhythmic complexity. Good thing cellist Felix Wang will be playing the composer's Cello Sonata (1948) with pianist Mark Wait. The dean of Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, Wait is a noted interpreter of Carter's diabolically difficult music. The duo will also perform Prokofiev's urgent and impassioned Cello Sonata in C major. JP

Jan. 16-Feb. 2: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse At Nashville Children's Theatre

An NCT favorite receives yet another remounting. It's based on Kevin Henkes' chuckle-filled modern classic — adapted by Kevin Kling — about the funniest, orneriest and most adorable mouse-child in all of fiction. The excellent cast features Brooke Bryant, Amanda Card, Rona Carter, David Compton and four others. MB

Jan. 16-Feb. 27: Fritz Eichenberg: Artist of the Book at Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery


With its envelope-pushing Difficult Art exhibition still warming the gallery walls, Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery returns to safer — but no less compelling — ground with this series of 40 illustrations by German artist Fritz Eichenberg. Cutting his teeth as an American immigrant in the dark years of Weimar Europe, Eichenberg's illustrations of books by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Poe and the Brontë sisters match the ominous tone of the times. Accompanying the illustrations is a self-portrait of Eichenberg with many of the authors in the exhibition, and the original woodblock for the cover of The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of Dorothy Day, along with the book itself. LH

Jan. 17: Walker Percy: A Documentary Film at Parnassus Books


Walker Percy's 1961 novel The Moviegoer — an unforeseen and controversial National Book Award winner in the year of Catch-22 and Franny and Zooey — remains a prescient look at the transitional New South and alienation in the age of ready mass-media distractions. Alongside fellow literary giants the likes and stature of Eudora Welty and Robert Penn Warren, he helped found the Fellowship of Southern Writers in Chattanooga in 1987. The screening of Walker Percy: A Documentary Film, which runs about an hour, will be followed by a discussion with Sewanee professor John M. Grammer. 6 p.m. SH

Jan. 17-18: Grey Gardens At Nashville Children's Theatre


Tennessee Repertory Theatre's REPaloud reading series takes on its first musical, which dates from 2006 and is based on the cult-hit documentary of the same name. It follows the spectacular decline and fall of Edith Bouvier Beale (a relative of Jacqueline Kennedy) and her daughter, relegated to a penniless existence in the shambles of their once-splendid home. The libretto is by Doug Wright, with music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie. Wright also happens to be this season's Ingram New Works fellow, and will be in Nashville for the Jan. 18 performance. Martha Wilkinson leads the cast, which includes Jennifer Richmond and Matthew Carlton. MB 

Jan. 19: Okey Ndibe at Parnassus Books

The novelist and Chinua Achebe protégé Okey Ndibe reads from his novel Foreign Gods, Inc., about a New York cab driver who despite an economics degree is unable to get an academic job. After learning of an art gallery that trades in sacred objects from faraway lands, he hatches a scheme to retrieve a powerful war god that presided over the area of Nigeria where he grew up. (See the story here.) 2 p.m. SH

Jan. 21: A Faustian Bargain with the violin at Ingram Hall


Did Isabelle Faust sell her soul to the devil? Nah, this Berlin-based violinist's soulmate must be the Archangel Gabriel, since she plays the music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven with heavenly warmth and beauty. Faust first came to international attention in 1987, when at age 15 she won the Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in Augsburg, Germany. She has since blossomed into a serious and stylish interpreter of the classics. Her recording of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Alexander Melnikov is now widely regarded as one of the gold standards of classical music. Faust and Melnikov will perform an all-Beethoven program in Nashville. Her instrument is "Sleeping Beauty," a 1704 Stradivarius that probably costs more than your house. JP

Jan. 21: TJ Jarrett, Beth Bachmann & Kamilah Aisha Moon at Parnassus Books

Kamilah Aisha Moon, now a professor of English and creative writing at Medgar Evers College-CUNY, grew up in East Nashville, attended Meigs Middle Magnet School and studied creative writing with poet Bill Brown at Hume-Fogg. Her latest collection, She Has a Name, follows the story of a young girl growing up in the '70s with autism — lyrically told from multiple perspectives. Moon is in good company at this reading, joining fellow poets TJ Jarrett — the rare poet/software-developer double threat and winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition in 2013 for her book Zion — and Vanderbilt professor Beth Bachmann, whose manuscript for Do Not Rise, a new collection about war and PTSD, won the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and is due from the Pitt Poetry Series in 2015. 6:30 p.m. SH

Jan. 23: Christine Schutt at Vanderbilt


As a graduate writing student, Christine Schutt said in an interview with HTMLGIANT, "I was in class with people who even then were able to tell a story. I could not." Her ability to write a sentence —  "Lifted in the wind, the blinds banged their music on the sill; it was a sound of diminutive breakage — of saucers, of cups — in a rhythm like the rising and falling of a chest, like breathing, a boy's, his." — got her far, though. She had already penned two short-story collections, Nightwork (selected by John Ashberry as best book of 1996) and A Day, a Night, Another Day, Summer, when she tried her hand at long-form fiction. Florida, her first novel, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and subsequently All Souls, her second, was a finalist for the Pulitzer. Her reading in Nashville corresponds with the availability of a new novel, Prosperous Friends. 7 p.m. at Buttrick Hall 102 SH

Jan. 23: Donika Ross & Elizabeth Barnett at Scarritt-Bennett Center

The first 2014 installment of Scarritt-Bennett Center's monthly — and free — Poet's Corner series features Donika Ross, a Cave Canem Fellow whose poems have appeared in Bloom, Crazyhorse, Hayden's Ferry Review and elsewhere, and Elizabeth Barnett, who counts Gulf Coast and Alaska Quarterly Review among her publications. 7 p.m. at the Fondren Building at Scarritt-Bennett Center SH

Jan. 23-Feb. 2: Dreamgirls at TSU's Cox-Lewis Theater


Circle Players enters the new year with this Tony Award-winning 1981 musical that pays tribute to Motown. The central female trio, the fictional Dreamettes, is played by Kelsey Porter, LaToya Gardner and Cristina Fentress. The book and lyrics are by Tom Eyen, the music by Henry Krieger. Josh Waldrep directs, with musical direction by Diana Poe. MB

Jan. 23-Feb. 1: Royal Gambit at Christ Church Cathedral

Ted Swindley and Rod Streng combine their complementary directorial skills to stage this stimulating portrait of Henry VIII and the six women in his life. The Hermann Gressieker script, translated into English by George White in 1959, views Henry, the quintessential Renaissance man, through a more modern liberal lens, offering a rare blend of drama, comedy and history. Tony Nappo portrays the volatile monarch, with his mostly ill-fated lineup of unsure wives enacted by Wesley Paine, Sara Gaddis, Beth Henderson, Micah Lynn, Britt Byrd and Lanie Shannon. MB

Jan. 24-Feb. 2: Man and Superman at Lipscomb's Shamblin Theater 


Blackbird Theater steps up to fill a void in the Nashville theatrical landscape with a rare staging of George Bernard Shaw's forceful comedy of ideas, which blends social satire with serious philosophizing. Shaw's tale follows the romantic interplay of political firebrand and confirmed bachelor John Tanner and Ann Whitefield, the charming and scheming woman who intends to marry him. Beki Baker directs, and the estimable cast includes Blackbird co-founder Wes Driver, Evelyn O'Neal Brush, Sam Whited, Kris Wente and a dozen others. MB

Jan. 25: Scott Sigler at Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt

The trilogy-fulfilling installment in Scott Sigler's Infection series, Pandemic is "part Cthulhu epic, part zombie apocalypse and part blockbuster alien-invasion tale," according to its author's website, and that sounds nothing if not lively (or undead-ly). 2 p.m. SH

Jan. 29: R.H. Quaytman at the Watkins Theater

New York-based artist R.H. Quaytman has numerous works in the collections of esteemed international institutions, from Saatchi Gallery and Tate Modern to the Whitney Museum and MoMA. As the first installment in this year's excellent Visiting Artists Series at Watkins, Quaytman will lead a public lecture, and her extremely cerebral work, which Art in America has called "smart, philosophical, and layered with modulated autobiographical content," is the kind that really benefits from firsthand description. LH

Jan. 30: David Wojahn at Vanderbilt

For avid poetry readers, David Wojahn needs no introduction. He's written like an elder statesman of American verse since before he became one — his 1981 collection Icehouse Lights was chosen for the career-launching Yale Series of Younger Poets award. He's always acknowledged his debts (as in "Elegy for James Wright," about the clumsiness, if not quite anxiety, of influence) and has serviced them over the years with a coltish, almost monastic voice of wonder and introspection. 7 p.m., location TBA SH

Jan. 30: Charles McNair at Howlin' Books

Nearly 20 years after his debut novel Land O'Goshen arrived to critical praise, Atlantan and Paste Magazine books editor Charles McNair has returned with Pickett's Charge, a historical romp involving the last living Union soldier, the KKK, a time machine and rabid raccoons. McNair will read from his book and sign copies afterward. 6 p.m. SH

Jan. 30: Low Down at The Belcourt


If you can't get to Sundance this month, The Belcourt brings it to you via the Sundance Film Festival USA program, which screens a major selection from this year's festival at select indie theaters across the country. This year's film looks unusually good: the '70s-set jazz drama Low Down, based on Amy Albany's memoir and starring Elle Fanning, John Hawkes and Lena Headey. Director Jeff Preiss (who photographed Bruce Weber's landmark Chet Baker doc Let's Get Lost) will give a post-film Q&A. Tickets are $15 at JR

Jan. 30-Feb. 23: Oddly Puddle Is From Inner Space at The Theater Bug

At East Nashville's premier home for theater by and about young people, the latest production — featuring some 60 local actors in two casts ranging in age from 6 to 17 — centers on the nature of communication and the acceptance and celebration of individual differences. The show is presented in  partnership with the Special Education Advocacy Center, and part of The Theater Bug's proceeds will assist SEAC's efforts in Middle Tennessee. MB

Jan. 30-Feb. 1: The Barber of Seville at TPAC's Jackson Hall

The Nashville Opera brings a cast of internationally acclaimed principals including Corey McKern, Sandra Piques Eddy and Taylor Stayton for their production of the evergreen The Barber of Seville. Gioachino Rossini's comic masterpiece is drawn from the first of French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais' Figaro trilogy, which also inspired Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. More than 200 years after its premiere, Barber remains an enduringly popular piece that according to Nashville Opera's general and artistic director John Hoomes, "is a perfect blend of virtuosic music and 'laugh out loud' comedy." But don't just take Hoomes' word for it; Beethoven himself said that The Barber of Seville would play as long as Italian opera exists. AW


Jan. 31-May 11: Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan at the Frist

It's impossible to talk about the development of Western modern art without considering the impact Japanese aesthetics made in Europe between the 19th and 20th centuries. This exhibit is drawn exclusively from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Frist will be the first venue to show these juxtapositions of ukiyo-e prints and Japanese decorative arts alongside the furniture of Frank Lloyd Wright and paintings and prints by Degas, Monet, van Gogh and more. JN

Jan. 31-May 11: Lain York: Selections From the National Gallery at the Frist


2014's frontrunner for best exhibition title of the year, Lain York: Selections from the National Gallery recounts the political career of Founding Father John Adams in a series of the artist's sculptural, abstract paintings. York transports the second president of the United States into a contemporary gallery, recontextualizing the vitriolic politics of the past within the divisive, partisan politics of our government and the dynamic, confusing politics of anything-goes contemporary art in the 21st century. York's use of stick-on vinyl as his primary medium further highlights the absurdity of the now. JN


Feb. 1: Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe and Pianist Warren Jones at Ingram Hall

A veteran of the Metropolitan Opera, Stephanie Blythe is widely regarded as the greatest mezzo-soprano since Marilyn Horne. She's the complete package, a vocalist who seems comfortable singing everything from the arias of Giuseppe Verdi to the Tin Pan Alley tunes of Cole Porter. Blythe is singing a lot of Verdi this season, performing in the Met's new production of Falstaff and San Diego Opera's Un Ballo in Maschera. Expect to hear Blythe and pianist Warren Jones perform a few arias in Nashville, but don't be surprised if they sample selections from the Great American Songbook. JP

Feb. 1-22: DeLesslin George-Warren's Unravel at 40AU

DeLesslin George-Warren's latest show at 40AU is an interactive exhibition that uses found textiles and clothing to create a dialogue about ecology, economy and more. George-Warren deconstructs loved, donated and forgotten clothing items, turning them into large balls of yarn that viewers unwind during the opening to reveal embedded stories and narratives about the clothes. The artist asks viewers to rethink the histories of items even as they participate in their transformation. JN

Feb. 3-28: Ron Lambert at Lipscomb's John C. Hutcheson Gallery

Watkins lost one of its brightest art stars when professor Ron Lambert relocated to Pennsylvania's Bloomsburg University last year, but his inclusion in the Lipscomb lineup underscores both the crossing of lines between Nashville's art programs and the cadre of internationally recognized artists who continue to cultivate roots locally. Look for large-scale sculptures like those we've seen at recent group shows at Zeitgeist and the Frist, and references to home renovations and life in flux. LH

Feb. 5: Sergeant Rutledge at Sarratt Cinema

The great character actor Woody Strode (a UCLA football teammate of Jackie Robinson) was a chiseled, screen-filling presence in John Ford and Sergio Leone films; Vanderbilt's free International Lens screening series pays tribute by showing Ford's 1960 courtroom Western, featuring Strode's groundbreaking starring role as a black cavalry officer accused of a white woman's rape-murder. Another Strode film follows Feb. 12: Lewis Milestone's Korean War drama Pork Chop Hill. JR

Feb. 5: Salon@615: Anna Quindlen at Ingram Hall


Part of the ongoing Salon@615 series. Anna Quindlen's latest, Still Life With Bread Crumbs, follows a photographer who has drifted from the scrutiny of fame. 6:15 p.m. at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music SH

Feb. 6: Pools of Glass at the Frist

Local dance troupe Company Rose is partnering with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt University to present Pools of Glass, an original contemporary dance performance inspired by the exhibition Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan, in the Frist Center auditorium. Company Rose, which is led by native Nashvillian Marsha Barsky, promises a voyage through space and time in this performance. AW

Feb. 6: Edmund White at Vanderbilt

In addition to a trio of novels — A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty and The Farewell Symphony — based on his own life, Edmund White wrote a biography of the writer Jean Genet that fetched him the National Book Critics Circle Award. White is professor of creative writing at Princeton University. 7 p.m. at Buttrick Hall 101 SH

Feb. 6-22: Sophisticated Ladies at Keeton Theatre

This musical revue celebrates the songs and musical legacy of the great Duke Ellington. The show ran in New York for nearly two years in the early '80s, featuring a score that includes "Mood Indigo," "Take the 'A' Train," "Sophisticated Lady," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Satin Doll," and "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good." Keeton Theatre's first 2014 effort will be under the musical guidance of Ginger Newman. MB

Feb. 7: Howlin' After Dark at Howlin' Books

Hosted by The Writing Circle, the Howlin' After Dark reading series — scheduled for the first Friday of the month from February to May — features emerging voices in fiction and creative nonfiction. Bring your own B (or grab one from the in-store Frothy Monkey outpost), start browsing books (or records at Grimey's Too) starting at 7 p.m., and stay for performances by local authors. The Feb. 7 edition brings together stories loosely grouped around the theme "assorted shapes and flavors of modern love" and features Nashville Public Television's Joe Pagetta, healer Tobi Fishel, psychotherapist Jenna Longmire and Pilates instructor Heather Holloway. Paintings by local artist Mandy Peitz Moody also will be for sale. Organizers promise "surprise special guests" throughout the series run. SH

Feb. 7: Mike Vraney Tribute at Cult Fiction Underground

As founder of Seattle-based exploitation label/archive Something Weird Video, the late Mike Vraney, who died Jan. 2 at age 56, ensured that new generations of viewers would be permanently warped by Bettie Page fetish reels, David F. Friedman sleaze epics and atomic-scare industrial films. Who better to honor his delirious legacy than the cellar dwellers at Logue's Black Raven Emporium's basement grindhouse? The rest of the month looks swell too, from Takashi Miike's hellacious Audition (on Valentine's Day!) to a dream date Feb. 22 with Evil Dead 2 and co-star Danny Hicks in person. JR

Feb. 7-8: Music of Ravel and Saint-Saƫns at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major is a dazzling display piece that's filled with some of the most brilliant and sultry passages in the orchestral repertoire — exactly what you'd expect from the composer of Bolero. Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra join 19-year-old piano phenom Conrad Tao to perform the French composer's sonic bonbon. The NSO's musical Tour de France continues with a reading of Camille Saint-Saens' majestic Symphony No. 3 in C minor, "Organ." JP

Feb. 11: Holst's The Planets at McAfee Concert Hall

Conductor Robert Gregg leads the Belmont University Symphony Orchestra in three of Britain's greatest orchestral works — Gustav Holst's The Planets, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Benjamin Britten's A Simple Symphony. Several members of Belmont's music faculty — violinist Alison Gooding, flutist Carolyn Treybig and harpsichordist Richard Shadinger — will also join the orchestra to perform J.S. Bach's perennially popular Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. JP

Feb. 11-Aug. 31: Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation at Tennessee State Musuem

This history exhibition at Tennessee State Museum tells a tale of two families: The owners of the 13,000 acre Wessyngton Plantation in Robertson County and the family of slaves whose labor made it the largest producer of tobacco in the U.S. in 1860. John Baker Jr. is a descendant of the Wessyngton slaves. His book The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation was based on a treasure trove of surviving photographs and documents, and Baker's writings are the inspiration behind the exhibition. JN

Feb. 12: Salon@615: Laura Lippman at Nashville Public Library

Laura Lippman is the author of the Tess Monaghan detective series, and After I'm Gone, her latest non-Monaghan novel, follows the wife, mistress and daughters left behind after a man disappears. Lippman was born in Atlanta and made a cameo on The Wire (which was created by her husband David Simon) as a newspaper reporter — a fictional reprise of her former profession. 6:15 p.m. SH

Feb. 13: Far at Oz

A performance by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. See more here.

Feb. 13: Tamara Saviano at Howlin' Books

It's one thing to get Kris Kristofferson to blurb your memoir, but it's another thing for Kris Kristofferson to be the reason you were at Johnny Cash's funeral — which then becomes the jumping-off point of your memoir. Nashville publicist Tamara Saviano describes The Most Beautiful Girl, in part, as a book that "takes the reader through our sweet early years before the alcoholism and violence took hold; my coming of age in Wisconsin; the teenage years as I grew angry and disenchanted with my father and discovered a dark family secret: Bob Ruditys is not my biological father." Add to that "an early pregnancy, bad marriage, and the trauma of my daughter's molestation by her own father." Saviano will read from and sign copies of the book. 6 p.m. SH

Feb. 13-March 16: Always a Bridesmaid at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre

The popular writing team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten (Dearly Beloved, The Dixie Swim Club) return with a tale of four Southern friends who promised back in high school they'd be in each other's weddings — no matter what. Belly laughs and the ever-popular Chaffin's buffet await. MB

Feb. 14-16: Casablanca Valentine's Day at The Belcourt


The Germans wore gray; what'll you wear as Humphrey Bogart's Rick and Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa replay their doomed Paris match as a heart-shaped gift box to Belcourt patrons? The theater continues its "Oscar Picks" series leading up to its big Oscar Night America gala fundraiser March 2; other titles include two by director Milos Forman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Feb. 8-9) and Amadeus (Feb. 22-23). JR

Feb. 14-16: Closer Than Ever at STreet Theatre Company

The run is brief, but as a Valentine's Day weekend bauble, this award-winning 1989 Off-Broadway musical offers a pertinent travelogue of emotion — love, happiness, sadness — glimpsing relationships, breakups, family and everyday life. Authored by musical theater vets Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire, Closer Than Ever provides affecting snapshots of the universal human experience. Cathy Street directs, with musical direction by Rollie Mains. MB 

Feb. 14-16: Attitude at TPAC's Polk Theater

Each year, the Nashville Ballet's Attitude production pushes boundaries and blurs lines between mediums — last year's performance featured local visual artist Emily Leonard painting onstage, accompanied by musician Matthew Perryman Jones — in one of the most exciting, innovative offerings of their season. This year, they'll once again incorporate live music, inviting Nashville's Sugar and the Hi Lows (Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup) to collaborate on company dancer Christopher Stuart's Under the Lights, featuring the music of Johnny Cash. The production also includes Brian Enos And Legions Will Rise, which premiered at the ballet's 2012 Emergence series. The third and final piece is the debut of Nashville Ballet artist director Paul Vasterling's Time/Return/Memory, which draws inspiration from the tragic love story of Orpheus and Eurydice with a solo piano score adapted from Philip Glass' Orphee Suite. Attitude serves as a great introduction for people who haven't experienced Nashville Ballet, especially those who think they don't like ballet. After Attitude, you'll be a convert. AW


Feb. 14-16: The Vagina Monologues at LeQuire Gallery

Eve Ensler's bellwether statement of feminine empowerment returns to Actors Bridge Ensemble, the company that staged its Nashville premiere more than a decade ago. Guided again by director Vali Forrister, this 2014 revival is produced in conjunction with the V-Day One Billion Rising Campaign to end violence against women and girls. In addition, proceeds will fund ABE's Act Like a GRRRL scholarships. MB


Feb. 15-March 1: Red at TPAC'S Johnson Theater  


Nashville first glimpsed this 2010 Tony Award winner in 2012 when Blackbird Theater produced a thoughtful version of John Logan's controversial portrait of master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. The play is rich with provocative artistic and personal reflection, and is certainly worth another viewing. Tennessee Repertory Theatre's production stars Chip Arnold as Rothko and Benjamin Reed as his young assistant. René D. Copeland directs. Previews Feb. 13-14. MB

Feb. 18: Alias Chamber Ensemble's Winter Concert at Turner Hall

For its winter concert, Alias Chamber Ensemble will survey a century's worth of music. The highlight of the program will be American composer Paul Moravec's Tempest Fantasy, a boldly dramatic and fantastical piece for clarinet, violin, cello and piano that won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in music. The program will also include Debussy's Trio for flute, viola and harp (1915), Ginastera's String Quartet No. 2 (1968) and Piotr Szewczyk's Twisted Dances for oboe, violin, cello and piano (2012). JP

Feb. 19: Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet at Ingram Hall


The members of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet are now fixtures of Nashville's music scene. The players — flutist Michael Hasel, oboist Andreas Wittman, clarinetist Walter Seyfarth, French horn player Fergus McWilliams and bassoonist Marion Reinhard — have taken up a weeklong residence at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music every year for the past three seasons. The quintet returns for a series of master classes and another major performance, which is free and open to the public. JP

Feb. 19-22: Nashville Print Revival at various locations

Last year's Nashville Print Revival was intended to be a one-time-only event, but anyone who saw the massive crowds and citywide interest it inspired knew it was bound to incite repetition. The area's best printmakers — including Orange Barrel Press, Platetone Printshop and Isle of Printing — will rejoin forces with local institutions like Vanderbilt, MTSU, Belmont, Watkins and the downtown Art Crawl, as well as visiting artists Heather Freeman and Michael Krueger. Find more information about the weeklong event at LH

Feb. 20: Julie Bruck at Vanderbilt

In addition to garnering two Pushcart Prize nominations, Julie Bruck has written three collections of poems: Monkey Ranch, The End of Travel and The Woman Downstairs. She also wrote a poem about the band Men at Work — "whose lyrics never did make sense but / which are laced to a beat that won't let go" — that appeared in The New Yorker. 7 p.m. at Buttrick Hall 102 SH

Feb. 20: The Light and Sound Machine at Third Man Records

One of the coolest additions to the local movie scene is James Cathcart's monthly third-Thursday screening series of experimental and overlooked films, shown at Third Man and co-sponsored by The Belcourt. See the piece on p. 66 on January's selection, the camp epics The Devil's Cleavage and "Hold Me While I'm Naked" by George Kuchar, a program no John Waters fan will want to miss. Tickets are $10. JR

Feb. 20-March 2: Frost/Nixon at the Franklin Theatre

Studio Tenn Theatre Company continues its ambitious 2013-14 season with Peter Morgan's history-rich 2006 script based on the late British journalist David Frost's series of ground-breaking interviews with fallen U.S. president Richard Nixon. (Morgan also crafted the screenplay for the 2008 feature film directed by Ron Howard.) The strong cast includes Brent Maddox, Nat McIntyre, Ross Bolen, Corey Caldwell, Emily Tello Speck and Evelyn O'Neal Brush. Matt Logan directs. MB

Feb. 20-March 9: Number the STars at Nashville Children's Theatre

The fourth entry in NCT's 2013-14 season is a dramatization of Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning juvenile novel of World War II, which views the horrors of the day through the terrified eyes of 10-year-old AnneMarie Johansen. Here, the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Nazi-occupied Denmark across the sea to Sweden and safety. Adapted for the stage by Douglas W. Larche. MB

Feb. 21: Malcolm Gladwell at the Curb Event Center


Parnassus Books and Belmont University's Executive Learning Network will host New Yorker staff writer and public defender of being nice Malcolm Gladwell for a Leadership Breakfast that, for $45, includes breakfast, leadership and a copy of Gladwell's latest TED-Talk-on-paper, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. "Registration and networking" start at 6:30 a.m. The early bird works 10,000 hours to perfect snatching this worm. SH

Feb. 21-March 1: Miss Evers' Boys at Darkhorse Theater

Presented by Sista Style Productions in collaboration with ACT 1, David Feldshuh's tense 1992 stage play concerns the Tuskegee experiment, a secret, decades-long federal government program that examined the effects of untreated syphilis on poor African-Americans. Feldshuh's script was adapted to television in 1997 by HBO, and the film, starring Alfre Woodard and Laurence Fishburne, was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards. MB

Feb. 22: Vanderbilt Commodore Orchestra at Ingram Hall

Vanderbilt University has a new orchestra. The Vanderbilt Commodore Orchestra, named for the university's famed 19th century founder, will present an inaugural concert featuring the music of Felix Mendelssohn, Antonín Dvorák, William Grant Still and Frank Martin. Blair School of Music trombonist Jeremy Wilson will solo in Martin's Ballade for Trombone and Orchestra. Keehun Nam will conduct. JP

Feb. 22-23: East Meets West at Father Ryan Auditorium

The Dance Theatre of Tennessee, led by principal dancer and artistic director Christopher Mohnani, offers a varied selection of works from notable Asian choreographers in East Meets West. The program includes Green, former Ballet Memphis choreographer Hazel Gower's ode to Mother Nature, and Romance, a sensual duet by Manuel Molina of Ballet Caracas. The performance will close with two works from Ballet Philippines: Jojo Lucila's Yebo, a lively piece that incorporates Art of Noise music, and Gener Caringal's Vinta, which promises to imaginatively transport the audience to Southeast Asia via majestic sailboat. AW

Feb. 25-March 2: Ghost: The Musical at TPAC'S Jackson Hall


This remake of the 1990 blockbuster film features a book by Bruce Joel Rubin and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. The show got its start in Manchester, England, in 2011 and finally opened on Broadway to mixed reviews in a five-month run. The touring circuit is keeping it alive, and the show still draws on the emotive power of the 1955 Alex North/Hy Zaret tune "Unchained Melody." MB

Feb. 28-March 1: Haydn and Fall at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain is so soft, sensual and colorful that it comes across as sonic perfume. Pianist Arnoldo Cohen will solo in Falla's concerto-like impressions for piano and orchestra. Carlos Kalmar, the longtime conductor of the Oregon Symphony, will conduct the Falla along with Haydn's Symphony No. 98, Walter Piston's Toccata for Orchestra and Strauss' Rosenkavalier Suite. JP

Feb. 28-March 16: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Looby Theatre

Tennessee Women's Theater Project brings Nashville yet another local premiere, an offbeat family drama by the irrepressibly zany Christopher Durang. Director Maryanna Clarke has put together a talented veteran cast that includes Lane Wright, Terry Occhiogrosso, Holly Butler and Tamiko Robinson, and there's a good deal of potentially very funny middle-aged craziness set to unfold. MB        

Feb. 28-June 8: Steve Mumford's War Journals, 2003-2013 at the Frist


There may not be any artist more qualified to comment on America's recent conflicts than Steve Mumford, who spent a decade traveling to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. War Journals reads like a Rashomon retelling of the War on Terror, simultaneously presenting the perspectives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners in watercolors, sketches and paintings. JN

Feb. 28-June 8: Goya: The Disasters of War at the Frist


The Disasters of War was the first edition of etchings published by the great Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. The Frist Center's new display of the complete set of 81 aquatints documents the effects of Spain's Peninsular War against France and Napoleon beginning in 1808, the Madrid famine of 1811-12, and the restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy in 1814. Known for its intense, brutal imagery, Disasters explores dark themes like carnage and retribution, and the series wasn't published until three decades after the painter's death. JN


March 1: Science on Screen: For All Mankind at the Belcourt

Thank a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Brookline, Mass.'s Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation for what promises to be one of The Belcourt's most popular projects yet: a month of science-related repertory films, kids' shows and midnight movies, many with visiting scientists on hand to discuss afterward the concepts and principles involved. Launching the series — literally — is a stargazer's dream: Al Reinert's soaring 1989 Apollo-missions documentary For All Mankind, attended by visiting NASA technicians from Huntsville. Among the many exciting titles in the mix: Jean-Luc Godard's future-is-now sci-fi pulp thriller Alphaville, and a movie Belcourt fanatics have been clamoring for — legendary titles designer Saul Bass' 1974 ant-revolt head-scrambler Phase IV, now with its mind-blowing long-lost psychedelic finale restored. JR

March 3-31: Joshua Bienko at Lipscomb's John C. Hutcheson Gallery

Joshua Bienko has never exhibited in Nashville before, but his smart, punchy work piqued our interest right away. The Knoxville-based artist pulls from pop culture and high culture in equal measure, and images of Yosemite Sam or fractals made from Air Jordan silhouettes appear alongside drawings that recall everyone from Raymond Pettibon to Chris Johanson. As of press time we're not certain what Bienko has planned for the Lipscomb space, but with this kind of multidisciplinary creativity (he makes videos and sculptures as well), our expectations are high. LH

March 6-15: Shrek: The Musical at Lipscomb's Collins Alumni Auditorium

Circle Players collaborates with Lipscomb University's Department of Theatre to mount this musical based on the 2001 DreamWorks film and William Steig's 1990 book. The music is by Jeanine Tesori, with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. MB

March 7-8: The Intergalactic Nemesis at Oz

A live-action graphic novel. See more here.

March 7-15: "Master Harold" ... and the Boys at Darkhorse Theater

Destiny Theater Experience and ACT I  collaborate on this 1982 Athol Fugard piece, set in South Africa during the apartheid era and serving up a raw depiction of racism and bigotry in a land where both are institutionalized. MB 

March 8: Report to the Commissioner at Nashville Public Library

The hardcore movie geeks at the downtown public library's Popular Materials desk have a loyal following for their monthly "Movies @ Main" 2 p.m. Saturday free screening series. This month's entry is less notable for the film — a 1975 Milton Katselas undercover-cop pressure cooker with a juicy role for Michael Moriarty — than for the intro and "Legends of Film" podcast taped to accompany it: with technical consultant Randy Jurgensen, a former NYPD detective recounting his 1960s and '70s exploits. JR

March 11-16: Sister Act: The Musical at TPAC'S Jackson Hall

Deloris Van Cartier is on the lam from her no-good gangster boyfriend Curtis and hides out in a convent. Hilarity — and a lot of music — ensues. Everyone remembers Whoopi Goldberg's 1992 film version. This is the stage adaptation, with many creative hands on deck — Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, Douglas Carter Beane, Glenn Slater (lyrics) and Alan Menken (music). This show has been in circulation since 2006, and finally had some Broadway success in 2011-12. MB

March 13: As I Lay Dying at Sarratt Cinema

You can't fault actor-director James Franco for a lack of ambition — not when he directed feature-film versions of William Faulkner's hallucinatory stream-of-consciousness novel and Cormac McCarthy's equally daunting Child of God in, oh, about a year. Tell me you're not curious, with a cast that includes Delmar from O Brother, Where Art Thou? and freakin' Kenny Powers. If you're wondering how it is, watch Vanderbilt Southern-lit professor Michael Kreyling's face for cues during his intro. JR

March 13-15: Ben Folds and Bartók at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Pop star (and Nashville Symphony board member) Ben Folds presents the world premiere of his Piano Concerto with Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony. Not that Folds needs to feel any additional pressure, but his concerto will be part of a program that also includes Rossini's perennially popular William Tell Overture, Wagner's trailblazing Prelude and "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde and Bartok's magnificent Miraculous Mandarin Suite. JP

March 14-23: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Street Theatre Company

The kids at University School of Nashville beat all the local pros to the punch, mounting this unusual rock musical about Old Hickory in 2011. During its many tryouts and regional and New York runs, neither audiences nor critics ever quite knew what to make of it. Now STC takes Music City's first "grown-up" crack at it. The book is by Alex Timbers and the lyricist-composer is Michael Friedman. MB

March 16: Blair School of Music 50th Anniversary Celebration at Ingram Hall

Blair School of Music is going all out to celebrate its golden anniversary. Several of its signature faculty ensembles — Blair String Quartet, Blair Woodwind Quintet and Blair Brass Quintet — are scheduled to perform. Graduates of Blair's precollege program will present a special anniversary piece by Sean Calhoun, a senior composition major. Musicians and singers from the Blair community will cap the evening with a performance of John Rutter's celebrated Mass of the Children. JP

March 18: Itzhak Perlman at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Violinist Itzhak Perlman is a good friend of the Nashville Symphony. The renowned virtuoso appeared in Nashville in 2010 for the grand reopening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He returns to perform Beethoven's evergreen Violin Concerto. JP

March 21-30: Next Fall at LeQuire Gallery

Actors Bridge Ensemble presents Geoffrey Nauffts' well-regarded 2009 play concerning two committed gay men — one devoutly religious, the other an atheist. Their five-year relationship undergoes unforeseen changes, family and friends' deeply held beliefs collide, and the couple eventually discover how to live at the intersection of faith, love and acceptance. Nauffts' script was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Ricardo Puerta directs. MB

March 22-April 12: Company at TPAC'S Johnson Theater

Tennessee Repertory Theatre gets its Sondheim fix with the company's first-ever production of the master's resilient tale of marriage and singlehood in the big sophisticated city. The impressive cast of actor-singers includes Nancy Allen, Jeff Boyet, David Compton, Mia Rose Ernst, Laura Matula, Megan Murphy-Chambers, Shelean Newman, Patrick Waller and Martha Wilkinson. MB

March 22-May 25: Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art at Cheekwood

Since the mid-20th century, bamboo has become a surprisingly dynamic medium in the hands of the Japanese master artists who harvest, split and plait this ubiquitous natural resource that's shaped Japan's social, artistic and spiritual landscapes. The display of 38 works by 17 artists goes well beyond the traditional craft baskets and utilitarian forms normally associated with bamboo, boasting non-utilitarian forms and wall sculptures including works that have never been shown in the United States. JN

March 26-April 20: Wicked at TPAC'S Jackson Hall

Music City went wild the last time this Stephen Schwartz modern-day blockbuster came to town. An extended run drew in theatergoers from all over the state. Expect the same this time around. MB

March 27: Claudia Emerson at Vanderbilt

Of Claudia Emerson's three Pulitzer nominations, 2005's Late Wife took home the prize. The former Poet Laureate of Virginia can illuminate the mundane, as she does at the end of "Eight Ball," about a game of pool: "I recall the easy / shot you missed, and then the way / we both studied, circling — keeping / what you had left me between us." 7 p.m., location TBA SH

March 27-29: Sibelius and Elgar at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Finnish composer Jean Sibelius' seven symphonies is that no two of them sound even remotely alike. For his final winter program, Giancarlo Guerrero will conduct the Nashville Symphony in Sibelius' Symphony No. 1, a work that is remarkable for its many string and woodwind solos. Violinist James Ehnes will also join the NSO in a performance of Elgar's Concerto for Violin. JP

March 27-April 12: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Keeton Theatre

The first Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice opus to gain its authors some professional credibility, this pastiche musical actually began life as a pop cantata in a London boys school, then later was recorded as a concept album. The creators far surpassed Joseph with Jesus Christ Superstar et al., but this piece remains fun, tuneful and family-friendly. It's a great selection for Keeton Theatre's dedicated audience. MB

March 28: Chris Bachelder at Vanderbilt

Probably best known for his satirical novel Bear v. Shark, Chris Bachelder has also written other things. For example, there are the fake reviews of his beard — "Even though Mr. Bachelder won't let you touch his beard, his beard will touch you!! See it TODAY!!!!" — he wrote for McSweeney's that are, in a way, their own endorsement of this reading. 7 p.m., location TBA SH


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