Star Music

Proceeds from this Saturday’s, Oct. 17, presentation of “Something Wicked This Way Comes” at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in Eagle River are being dedicated to paying off the organization’s recent IRS debt, according to executive director Holly Lindsay.

Monies earned via a silent auction slated to occur in the Academy’s foyer are also earmarked for the debt.

The Academy was notified this fall that it owes $9,000 plus to the IRS based on late tax filings for 2012 and 2013. The Academy is being fined $20 per day until the debt is resolved, Lindsay said.

After graduating from Chugiak High School in 2001 and playing the local music scene for years, singer-songwriter Chelsea Berry left Alaska to tour around the Lower 48 and produce music from her new home town in Boston. She returned to Alaska early this week, and plays a show at Jitters coffee shop in Eagle River on Thursday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m.


Star: In an interview last summer, you said you played a few gigs a week as a self-sustaining musician. What’s changed with your career since then?

Chugiak High School graduate and Noise Brigade front man Mikel Henry said he and his bandmates are taking their pop punk show on the road. Their latest album, “Get Rich or Die Crying,” was released Feb. 17.

But Henry said the band’s not out for fame and glory.

“We’ve been wanting to make this jump for a while,” he said. “But we just haven’t had the funds to do it, or the timing wasn’t right. We’re finally making the jump down there, not to be a huge band, but just to make a living off what we do and what we love.”

Alaskan opera fans are in for a rare treat.

It isn’t often that world-class opera comes to Anchorage except via way of the downtown performing arts center. It’s even less often that opera shows up in the Chugiak-Eagle River area other than productions by the music and theatre departments of local schools or that of the Alaska Fine Arts Academy.

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.

Chugiak High School’s production of “Man of La Mancha” blends humor with large life questions, such as: What is art and where does one draw the line between art and reality, dreams and real life, passion and defeat?

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.”

The executioner pulled his dark robe as it to cover the offending shoes.

And so it went.

The Gruening Middle School was in the midst of rehearsing for their upcoming “1001 Arabian Nights” performance.

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.

“I tore up countless pairs of shoes dancing to that show,” he said with a laugh.

When “Riverdance” hit town a few years later, he became so excited he practically danced his way to the theater.

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.

The result is a mad romp through an ever-changing storyline that offers up zappy one-liners that have to do with everything from Twinkies to the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

And all of the actors are teens, with a few younger ones thrown in, just to shake things up.

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.

The festival, which celebrated its 25th year, brings together folks and bluegrass musicians from across the state.

This year’s headliner performances were Grammy nominated and International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2013 Emerging Artist of the Year Della Mae and the all-star, multi-generational Mr. Sun band.

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.

“I would probably have ended up in music one way or another if I hadn’t of grown up in Alaska but maybe not doing what I’m doing now,” she said. “It’s what I’m equipped to do, what I love to do.”