Martha's Vineyard Times File Photo
"Cinderella: A True Story"
A funny "fractured fable" version of "Cinderella" in operetta form will be performed July 28 and 29 at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. The all-singing/no-acting show features a variety of musical styles from jazz to showtunes to opera, with each character having his or her own signature style. Dressed simply in formal concert wear, the cast delivers the tongue-in-cheek material completely deadpan. The humor comes not only from the witty lyrics and exaggerated characters but from the seeming seriousness of the cast, which is performing some silly material.
"Cinderella: A True Story" was first performed on the Vineyard in 2001 and then revived last winter with many of the original cast. The performers are culled from the pool of vocal talent on the Vineyard and the show gets especially outrageous as the cast engages in some virtuousic duelling in duets and trios. Director Garrett Brown, who will provide piano accompaniment, was a student of the operetta's creator, Warren Martin. He notes that his former teacher had a talent for capturing personalities with music, and Mr. Martin's larger than life characterizations make for a very entertaining show for all ages.
The bigger botanical picture
Polly Hill Arboretum is hosting a series of provoking talks this month that transcend the realm of amateur gardening and should provide interesting insight into our biological past, present, and future.
Next Wednesday, Aug. 3, Patrick Cullina, vice president of horticulture and park operations for New York's High Line Park, will talk about the creation of one of the most dynamic and unique urban parks ever to be developed. Built on a former elevated freight railway in Manhattan, the park offers lessons in the challenges of maintaining an elevated park that can be applied to other landscapes and gardens.
The annual David H. Smith Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, Aug. 10, features Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens plant curator Bill Cullina. In a talk titled The Web of Life: Taking the Long View, Mr. Cullina will talk on taking a long-term geological perspective when considering questions of rarity, extinction, and the concept of native. Dr. Smith, a scientist and conservationist instrumental in the establishment of the Arboretum, is honored every year with a lecture focusing on conservation issues.
On August 24, the Arboretum welcomes Biff Bermingham, director of the Panama-based Smithsoniah Tropical Research Institute. His talk, From Giant Snakes to Disappearing Frogs: Tropical Biology in a Changing World, will delve into the ongoing research that has been taking place in tropical forests and seas — areas rich in geological and biological data. Mr. Bermingham has published more than 100 articles and edited the book "Tropical Rainforests: Past, Present and Future."
"We're interested in considering plants and conservation on a global scale as well as locally," says Karin Stanley, Polly Hill education and outreach coordinator. "It's part of our connection to the larger world."
Music at Louisa Gould Gallery
Local musicians J.B. Lamont, drummer, and singer Michele Zaccone have been performing together as the band Tethered for two years. They have recently released their first CD, "Music Street," and will be celebrating the launch on Saturday, July 30, at the gallery of Mr. Lamont's wife, Louisa Gould, in Vineyard Haven. The two will perform their mix of pop/rock/country music from 7 to 10 pm with food from former Zephrus chef, David Schanhals. CDs will be available for sale. And, of course, there's all that fabulous Island art to enjoy.