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Encores and Curtain Calls

A Connecticut Valley arts sampler

Young love

Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” is the main fall event at the New England Youth Theater. Now through Oct. 21 (Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.. and Sundays at
2 p.m.).

Peter Gould directs the production, which, he promises, “will be powerful, emotional, physical, and faithful to the text, as the actors and audience grapple with issues that still tear at our hearts: youthful love and passion, communication between teens and parents, violence, revenge and suicide; and how suddenly — brutally — Fate can barge in and ruin all our best-laid plans.”

Actually, this should be an ideal match given that the protagonists of Shakespeare’s original conception were barely older than their corresponding cast members at NEYT. If, perchance, there is anyone out there in danger of having truly forgotten just how breathlessly intoxicating young love or even the illusion of it may have been all those many decades ago, this is your chance to safely re-kindle that long-lost flame.

Costumes by Sandy Klein, lighting by Jerry Stockman, and sets by Rick Barron

Tickets at  neyt.org
$13, adults; $9, students; $11, seniors.

Chamb er classics

The third in the classy Pioneer Valley Classics series comes Sunday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m., at The Pushkin. Boston-based vocalist Jessica Rossi will join regional musicians Colleen Jennings of the Springfield Symphony, keyboardist Gregory Hayes and cellist Rebecca Hartka of Ashfield in a program titled “Going for Baroque II Restoration and Beyond: Music of the English Baroque.”

Works performed will be drawn largely from compositions from the era of the restoration of the English monarchy in the cosmopolitan court of Charles II.

This is, I believe, the first time Hartka has featured a vocalist in one of her outings and the interplay should prove interesting. I’m willing to venture the concert will be top-notch purely based on Hartka’s & Co.’s track record; the previous Bach, Brahms, Beethoven tryst proved so, refreshing us with the premiere of a chimerical, delicately wrought, rhythmically inventive cello sonata by Pioneer Valley composer Zeke Hecker.

The Arts Block, which is another venue sometimes used by the series, turns out to be an unexpectedly gracious space in which to experience classical chamber music, far roomier and more expansive than its across-the-street cousin, The Pushkin. The rangy room, replete with ante-chambers and high ceilings, and with its slice-of-life, north-side street view, allows plenty of artistic and physical breathing room. It has an overall sense of relaxation not found in many concert halls.

e_SNbSTickets are $15 at the door or online at www.theartsblock.com. For more information, contact Hartka, contact@valleycl assics.org .

‘Willy Wonka

Arena Civic Theatre’s “Willy Wonka,” a theatrical version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” enters its second week of performances, Friday,
Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m.

Featured cast members include Jerry Marcanio, Ted Trobaugh, Cole Mathewson, Dawn Mayo, John Darrow and Kate Filanowski; Bob DuCharme directs, with musical direction by Amy Roberts Crawford, and choreography by Melanie Reneris.

Tickets $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children, $9 for children 12 and under. They are available at World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield; The Jones Library, Amherst; and at the door.

To reserve, call
413-863-2281, ext. 2.

An author and composer, columnist Joseph Marcello of Northfield focuses on music and theater. His email is

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