December 11, 2008...
Next week, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the Birmingham Concert Chorale perform the worlds most celebrated oratorio -- Handel's Messiah. For Dr. Philip Copeland, it'll be his first since being named conductor of the Birmingham Concert Chorale earlier this year. But here's the rub: Copeland just prepares the chorus for the concert. The conductor is Raymond Leppard. WBHM's Michael Krall spoke with Philip Copeland about that and how the Concert Chorale keeps Messiah fresh every year....
Dr. Philip Copeland is the conductor of the Birmingham Concert Chorale. They'll perform Messiah with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra on Friday December 19th at the Alys Stephens Center.
When Centerstage Productions cast its holiday show, A Centerstage Christmas Celebration, it thought it had a ringer for the role of Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Afterall, young Zachary Sayle had just returned from appearing in the Asian tour of the Sound of Music. But the Birmingham boy was quickly snapped up for the new U.S. tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Centerstage was left "Amahl-less". Enter Kayla Vanderbilt. The 11-year-old has appeared on stage and television in New York. She trekked down to Birmingham to take the lead and talk with WBHM's Tanya Ott.
There are countless holiday plays and musicals on tap this month. Terrific New Theatre has Winter Wonderettes - the hilarious story of an office Christmas party where Santa turns up missing. Red Mountain Theater Company presents Winter Wonderland - a production of original holiday music. And down in Alabaster, South City Theatre offer Christmas Belles - a holiday show that teeters on the edge of gaudiness. Billy Ray Brewton is co-founder of Theatre Downtown - a company that counter-programs all the holiday cheer with much edgier plays. Brewton says he understands why most theatre companies schedule more traditional fare during December.
Find out what's happening with Birmingham's theater scene...
Tinnie Pettway made a name for herself as one of the famous Gees Bend Quilters, but she's added author to her resume with a new book of poetry. Pettway writes about everything from homemaking to politics. She tells Tanya Ott that writing is in her blood.
Tinnie Pettway's new book of poetry is called Gee's Bend Experience: Poems and Tidbits about Life. Pettway will be signing copies of her book at Little Professor Bookstore in Homewood Saturday morning and will host a public display of her quilts and other handicrafts next weekend.
Roszetta Johnson may be a legendary jazz singer, but she's a story-teller at heart. And the Birmingham native has poured her heart into a new holiday CD called Christmas Songs with a Touch of Jazz. It's been a long, winding musical journey for Johnson.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Next week on the program we look back at a year of cartooning with the Birmingham News' Scott Stantis.