Museum of Art Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is known for amazing beaches and a variety of rum drinks, including the famous Pina Colada.  What about Art?  Today, I set out to explore the art scene in Puerto Rico, starting with the capital of San Juan.2016 CenterBellaArt3

My first stop was the Centro de Bellas Artes de Puerto Rico.  The building is surrounded by outdoor sculptures, murals, and paintings (FREE Activity).  Early morning is the best time to visit, it is quiet, cool, and empty.  I had the entire plaza to myself, with The Muses.  These eight bronze female life-size sculptures are dedicated to the types of arts and culture found within the center; music, theater, literature, dance, films (my favorite pictured below), architecture, sculpture, and painting.  Inside are three main concert and theater halls for plays, ballet, operas, symphony, concerts, and festivals.  With a bit of planning, a performance here may be in my future.

The Muses
The Muses

Joined by Brenda from Traveleira, we ate a delicious brunch nearby, then walked to the Museo de Art de Puerto Rico, home to an eclectic assortment of local art.  The docents (gallery workers) are polite, multilingual, knowledgeable, and passionate about the art.   There are some beautiful, and thought provoking pieces which the docents are eager to discuss and admire with you.  Paintings, sculpture, contemporary pop-art, modern art, impressionism, and more are represented in the gallery.  With such a variety of styles, there are pieces that I immediately connected with and others that are not to my liking.  The building itself is a simple design in a bright, whitewash surrounded by palm trees.  The same air conditioners and humidifiers that protect the art, also are a cool refreshing break in the heat of the day.  The cost of admission is very reasonable at $6 for an adult, with student, children, seniors, and other discounts. Continue reading “Museum of Art Puerto Rico”

The Buddy Holly Story

 – Guest blogger, Jack Benway contributes the following review of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story presented by the Phoenix Theater League at the Orpheum Theater March 2015.

The Jukebox Musical Theater genre is growing on me, if for no other
reason than its combination of absurdity and audacity.

The genre takes somebody else’s already popular and well-known musical
body of work, weaves an (often contrived or minimal) narrative around
it, adds some choreography, costuming, and stage work, and delivers it
as a theatrical production.

Considering that a good rock-and-roll live show already includes
choreography, costuming, and stagework, it becomes clear that a Jukebox
Musical is really just extremely clever marketing to significantly
increase the ticket price of a cover band or retrospective musical
review.  Bully for them — bring on the clever marketing!

No rock band ever won a Tony Award for their live tour, but repackage
the songs of that same rock band, performed by others, as musical
theatre, and a trophy will be awarded in short order.

Buddy (the Buddy Holly Story) delivered the best that the Jukebox
Musical genre can offer.

Its narrative, describing Buddy Holly’s rocket ride to stardom and
tragic abrupt demise, contributed nicely to the mostly musical production.

The clever mechanism of radio show snippets for timeline advancement
made for rapid progression with minimal need for set changes or chorus
ensemble.

Its biggest miss was the use of chorus girls singing ad jingles during
the first act, which seemed out of place and a bit contrived for the
production as a whole — a good idea that wasn’t executed or implemented
to fruition.

The impersonator (er, actor) playing Buddy Holly was fantastic, as were
those playing the lesser roles of The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and the
Crickets.  The music was wonderful.  Costumes were appropriate but not
particularly noteworthy.

Buddy made me wish I could have seen Buddy Holly perform live, or at
least, take in a good Buddy Holly cover band.