Short Subjects

Posted June 7, 2007

Today's music scene

"Today, Ray Charles would not get a shot. Today, Stevie Wonder would not get a shot. They're blind," says Branford Marsalis, musician, in "Before the Music Dies," this week's Martha's Vineyard Film Society's movie.

A critical yet comedic documentary of the homogenization of popular music, the film includes commentary by artists such as Erykah Badu, Dave Matthews, and Elvis Costello. The film is directed by Andrew Shapter and produced by Joel Rasmussen, who traveled all over the United States, interviewing hundreds of fans, journalists, musicians, and record executives for their film, which looks at the evolution of American music and artists, and also shows live performances of interviewed artists.

"Before the Music Dies," Saturday, June 9, 8 pm, Katharine Cornell Theatre, Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $6; $4 for members.

Country at the chapel

KCT Concerts begin this season's music series with Fred Eaglesmith and company, at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. Joined by Willie P. Bennett, Luke Stackhouse, Kori Heppner with an opening by Junior Begley, Mr. Eaglesmith's sound is influenced by Elvis, and he tends to sing about "tired cowboys, young boys in love, bare-knuckled farmers," and more, according to the press release.

"Fred Eaglesmith," Thursday, June 7, 8 pm, Union Chapel, Oak Bluffs. Tickets are $20 in advance at Aboveground Records, Island Entertainment, Mocha Mott's, Alley's General Store; $25 at the door; children under 12 free. For more information, call Jon at 508-693-9790 or visit, or

Weird Sisters in OB

Tonight at the Ritz, hear the Weird Sisters, beginning at 9:30 pm. Corinne de Langavant, Chris Seidel, Jim Garner, Paul Thurlow, Howie Marlin, and Phil "Laughing Crow" Austin will provide the beats for you to enjoy at the Circuit Avenue bar in Oak Bluffs. For more information, call 508-423-9566.

Paul L. Coffey and Darren Frazier
Actors Paul L. Coffey (left) and Darren Frazier prepare for the June 13 opening of "This Island Alone." Photo by Sally Cohn

Playhouse opening

The Vineyard Playhouse celebrates the beginning of their 26th season with the world premiere of the play "This Island Alone," by Catherine Rush and Adrian Blue of Philadelphia. The play is a historical retelling of the lives of those in Chilmark's deaf community. Chronicling almost 200 years, this is the first combined effort by Ms. Rush, Mr. Blue, and the Vineyard Playhouse. This play has gone from idea to full production right here on the Island. According to the Vineyard Playhouse, the visual story-telling style compliments the spoken language for a unique theatre experience.

A workshop production of the show was staged last year and some of those cast members have returned for this main stage production. The workshop performers are John Basinger, Katherine Diamond, Norma Tourangeau, and Alexandria Wailes, and they are joined by new additions Paul Coffey, Darren Frazier, and Uriel Menson. Mr. Blue is directing the show; the set is designed by Steve Zablotny; Matt Jackson is stage manager; the lighting design is by Fred Hancock; costumes are by Abigail Bailey and Kerry Binder; and Jim Novack is the sound designer.

"This Island Alone," June 13-16, 19-23, 26-30, July 3-7 except July 4. Times and ticket prices vary. Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church St., Vineyard Haven. Ticket prices and curtain times vary. For more information, call 508-696-6300 or visit