The Color Purple ~ The San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra ~ …the poppies blow ~ Robinson reviews

May 2, 2018

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the performing arts in the Bay Area, host David Latulippe talks with cast member Adrianna Hicks, who plays the role of Celie in the musical The Color Purple, currently at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, through May 27.

Based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple follows the journey of Celie, an African-American woman in the American South from the early to mid-20th century. The original Broadway production ran from 2005 to 2008, and earned eleven Tony Award nominations in 2006. In 2016, the show won two Tony Awards - including Best Revival of a Musical.

From the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra, we meet with music director Achille Bocus, who shares details about the ensemble itself, and their upcoming concerts in Piedmont (May 5), Palo Alto (May 13), and San Francisco (May 27). The program, called American Counterpoint, features music by Bach, Copland, Gershwin, Miller and others, as well as the world premiere of Bocus’ own composition, Adagio Misterioso.

Tenor Brian Thorsett stops by, together with cellist and artistic director of the Ives Collective, Stephen Harrison, to talk about …the poppies blow…, a program with music that relates to World War I, the so-called Great War, with music from Sir Arthur Bliss, Josef Suk, Ivor Gurney and Sir Edward Elgar. Performers are: Brian Thorsett, tenor; Roy Malan, violin; Susan Freier, violin; Jessica Chang, viola; Stephen Harrison, cello; Keisuke Nakagoshi, Piano. Concerts are on May 4 (7:30 pm) at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto; and on Sunday, May 6 (4pm) at Old First Concerts in San Francisco.

Plus, our regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, reviews the thriller Collateral, a four part crime series set in London, which is on Netflix; and also the American espionage thriller Beirut, directed by Brad Anderson and starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, currently in Bay Area theaters.

Open Air with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday May 3, at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…