The executioner wore tennis shoes, scuffed white sneakers peeking from beneath his solemn robe. He deftly raised his scathe in preparation for the beheading. Suddenly, Victoria Otte’s voice rang out. “Shoes,” she yelled. “You can’t wear those, you need black.”
It’s a dream within a dream, a musical within a play, a sweeping epic within one beautiful and perfect song. And the finale, with all the actors’ voices blending together in a rendition of “The Impossible Dream,” very well might bring a few tears to your eyes.
Geoffrey Woods knew he wanted to dance from the time he was 3-years-old. That’s when “Lord of the Dance” came to Anchorage, and while he was too young to attend, he did watch the DVD his parents brought home.
Singer/songwriter Mary Oudean’s twangy voice fell down soft as rain as she sang the bluegrass classic, “Who Will Watch the Home Place?” at the last weekend of the Anchorage Folk Festival on Saturday, Jan. 25.
It’s a play within a play, a time era within a time era, a joke within a joke. And it’s funny. The Alaska Fine Arts Academy’s production of Mary Lynn Dobson’s “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood” mixes Monty Python type of humor with the traditional Robin Hood myth.
Growing up in Eagle River, Chelsea Berry dreamed of becoming a conductor or composer. Instead she became a successful singer/songwriter. She credits much of this to Alaska folksinger Robin Hopper, who was her babysitter and her mother’s best friend. Throughout Berry’s childhood there was always folk music playing, always talk of musicians and songs.
All this month, zombies will be on the loose in Eagle River. The Alaska Fine Arts Academy is putting on eight shows of “Shake Rattle and Rot: The Zombie Musical” every Friday and Saturday of October at 7 p.m. A group of teens who were killed in the 1950s come back to life for one night. All of the gang is set on wreaking havoc — except for Andrew. A romantic, Andrew falls for a living girl, Louise.
Chelsea Berry’s music career may be taking off Outside, but the 2001 Chugiak High graduate still needs to get her Alaska summer fix. “I’m going to be hanging out in the sun and fishing and hiking and camping as possible,” said Berry, who will be returning to her hometown for a special performance at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 at Jitters Coffee House in Eagle River.
Listening to music inspires all of us. As I listened to musician Art Braendel play his acoustic guitar and sing in baritone “Touch of the Master’s Hand,” I could tell from the glimmer in his eyes and expressions on his face that it is a ballad he favors.
Of all the reasons musicians play the Anchorage Folk Festival year after year, one tops the list — the other musicians. “Once a year I get to see all my musical buddies,” said Eagle River’s Cheri Spink, who’s played at nearly all 24 festivals.