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GIAHA's Annual Performing Arts Series at the Historic Ritz Theatre Season

North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble
Saturday, October 7, 2006
8:00 p.m.

Starting the season off with a burst of breathtaking energy and amazing technical skill, the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble performs both traditional rhythm tap as it was danced in its prime and cutting-edge contemporary choreography.  Imagine Stomp, Fred Astaire, Riverdance, vaudeville, and Bring In Da Noise… all on the same bill — that’s what you’ll get in this must-see performance!

Company members range in age from 8 to 18, with as much as 10 years dance experience each.  The Ensemble has performed and collaborated with a number of orchestras and jazz bands and toured nationally and internationally.  These remarkable young dancers regularly appear at the two largest tap festivals in the U.S., and you’ll be thrilled to see them right here in the Golden Isles.

More about North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble

More about the art of Tap Dancing

Tlen-Huicani performers

Mexican folk harp

Tlen-Huicani: The Singers of Vera Cruz
Friday, November 10, 2006
8:00 p.m.

Bringing a global reputation for expert musicianship and a passion for the traditional music of their native land, Tlen-Huicani takes the stage of the Ritz this fall with vivid, unforgettable music that will transport you to another time and place.  The group, whose name means “the singers” in the indigenous Nahuatl (Aztec) language, has performed in more than 50 countries and released a number of recordings exploring the music of Mexico, as well as styles and genres from other Latin American cultures.

Recognized as the leading folk group in Mexico, Tlen-Huicani takes the beautiful harpa jarocha or folk harp as the centerpiece of its music.  Describing their performance, the Chicago Reader said, “Rich-throated vocalists harmonize on lushly melodic motifs, and it's enough to make you want to just float off into the almond-scented ether.”

More about Tlen-Huicani

More about the music of Vera Cruz, Mexico

Christmas Carol cast

A Christmas Carol
Friday-Saturday, December 15-16, 2006
8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
3:00 p.m.

A beloved holiday tradition we all look forward to year after year.  It’s Charles Dickens’ familiar tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits who teach him the true meaning of Christmas.  But local audiences know that each year, GIAHA presents a brand new production with a different script and a fresh cast to keep the timeless classic delightfully surprising and alive for everyone.  Young and old alike, whether you’ve heard the story a hundred times or never before, you’ll want to share this funny, spooky and always pertinent holiday show with family and friends.

And RitzPass holders get a free ticket to opening night!

More about Charles Dickens' classic story

More about Victorian Christmas traditions

Romeo & Juliet logo

Aquila Theatre presents
Romeo and Juliet
Saturday, January 20, 2007
8:00 p.m.

Shakespeare’s unmatchable vision of uncompromising true love has stood the test of time as one of the greatest stories ever told.  The Aquila Theatre Company’s new production of Romeo and Juliet utilizes a highly talented British and American ensemble to create an adaptation that brings the play’s compelling themes and exquisite poetry to vivid life.  Aquila has won international acclaim for bold, intelligent and stylish productions of Shakespeare.  The New Yorker calls them “beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing and crystalline in effect.”  Join us for an evening of sparkling drama that will open your eyes and ears anew to this classic love story.

More about Aquila Theatre Company

More about William Shakespeare

Parallel Exit poster

Kenosha Kid POster

Buster Keaton

Charlie Chaplin

"The Sounds of Silents"
Special Multi-Media Weekend Celebrating the Great Film Comics

Parallel Exit’s This Way That Way
Friday, February 2, 2007
8:00 p.m.

Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr.
with live music by Kenosha Kid
Saturday, February 3, 2007
8:00 p.m.

Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid
with live music by Kenosha Kid
Sunday, February 4, 2007
3:00 p.m.

Chaplin…Keaton…Laurel & Hardy…  They’ve kept us laughing through the years, and now GIAHA is excited to present a unique weekend of events that bring the great cinema clowns into the 21st century with the style and celebration they deserve.  Reinterpreting the work of these immortal comics, “The Sounds of Silents” combines film, music and physical comedy in unexpected ways for a thoroughly captivating weekend at the Ritz.

On Friday evening, the acclaimed New York-based physical comedy troupe Parallel Exit performs its silent live-action “road movie” This Way That Way, inspired by the films of Keaton, Chaplin, and Laurel & Hardy, with an echo of the classic Hope and Crosby teamings.  The hilarious piece uses music, movement, and magic (but no spoken words) to tell the story of two con men on a cross-country adventure filled with colorful characters and narrow escapes.  Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind show that Backstage called an “unparalleled achievement” and Time Out New York praised for its “manic, pulsing energy.”

Then on Saturday, movies come back to the Ritz with a screening of the great Buster Keaton comedy Steamboat Bill Jr. This is the film in which Buster introduced his immortal “hat trick” and braved a killer storm with side-splitting results.  That alone would be worth the price of admission, but we have a special treat in store for all you silent movie fans.  The film will be accompanied by live music from the international music collective Kenosha Kid, an original score composed just for the screening here in Brunswick.

And on Sunday, the band is back again to play their original music with our screening of Charlie Chaplin’s funny and touching classic The Kid.  Featuring unlikely instrumentation (accordion, trombone, mandolin, electric guitar, acoustic bass, and drums) and tapping into an abundance of American musical traditions (from jazz to country to folk to a kind of classic rock), Kenosha Kid draws you into the world of the film, presenting Keaton and Chaplin as you’ve never experienced them, with music that will move and delight you in totally new ways.

More about Parallel Exit

More about Kenosha Kid

More about Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton

Dave Bennett band

Benny Goodman

A Tribute to Benny Goodman
featuring Dave Bennett and Band
Sunday, February 25, 2007
8:00 p.m.

A modern-day jazz prodigy brings to life a virtuoso of the great Swing Era with incredible technique, style, beauty of tone and naturalness.  Dave Bennett is only 22 years old, but he plays like someone who’s been at it for decades.  He and his septet of musicians (many of whom were last seen at the Ritz in Marcus Belgrave’s Tribute to Louis Armstrong in January 2005) recreate the original swing sensation, Benny Goodman, in a performance that brings to life signature tunes like I Got Rhythm, Moonglow, Stompin’ at the Savoy, and Sing, Sing, Sing.

Come here this young musical phenomenon pay glowing tribute to a fully American sound that appeals equally to today’s generation and the Greatest Generation.

More about Dave Bennett

More about Benny Goodman

Hot Club of San Francisco

Django Reinhardt

The Hot Club of San Francisco
Saturday, March 10, 2007
8:00 p.m.

Travel back with us to the intimate jazz clubs of Paris and the refined lounges of that city's famous Hotel Ritz as this ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians celebrates the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Hot Club de France. The ensemble borrows the all-string instrumentation of violin, bass and guitars from the original Hot Club, but breathes new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions.

Usually called “gypsy jazz,” the music of The Hot Club of San Francisco has entranced audiences around the globe for over 10 years. Critics have hailed the group’s playing as “intricate, scorching and brilliant.”  Step into our own “Hotel” Ritz for a swingin’, sultry evening of Le Jazz Hot.

More about The Hot Club of San Francisco

More about Gypsy Jazz

Lillian Hellman

The Little Foxes
by Lillian Hellman
An original GIAHA production
Fridays and Saturdays, April 13-14 & 20-21, 2007
8:00 p.m.
Sundays, April 15 & 22, 2007
3:00 p.m.

Lillian Hellman’s enduring American drama caused a sensation when it first opened on Broadway in 1939 and again as a film in 1941.  Revived many times throughout the decades, this 20th century play set in the post-Civil War South still rings true today with its story of a family in conflict, fighting each other and the world around them for wealth, power, and a sense of fulfillment.  These are the themes that take center stage in GIAHA’s original production under the direction of Rob Nixon, an approach that makes for exciting, living theater rather than a mere exercise in period nostalgia.

Heading a cast of local and out-of-town actors, in a role made famous on stage by Tallulah Bankhead and on film by Bette Davis, is GIAHA’s Heather Heath as the complex, fascinating and potentially deadly Regina Giddens—lying, scheming, struggling to secure a rightful place for herself and her daughter in a world ruled by men.  This is live theater the way you love it—sharply written, wonderfully acted, highly entertaining and bracingly relevant to our contemporary world.

More about Lillian Hellman and her plays

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